Jobs boost for offshore wind industry

Nearly 70,000 jobs and £60billion private investment could be created in the UK offshore wind industry by 2026.

Monday, 26th April 2021, 8:00 am
Thousands of jobs are expected to be created in the offshore wind industry in the next five years.

Research by the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) shows the number of people working in direct and indirect jobs in the UK’s world-leading offshore wind industry is set to rise significantly, from 26,000 currently to over 69,800 by 2026.

Most of the jobs will being created in parts of the country which urgently need levelling up, including the North East, Yorkshire and The Humber, East Anglia and Scotland.

The private sector will invest £60.8bn billion across the UK over the next five years in developing, constructing and operating offshore wind projects as the industry expands rapidly to help the Government to achieve its net zero emissions goal.

The Offshore Wind Skills Intelligence Report was commissioned by OWIC's Investment In Talent Group.

More than 80 per cent of offshore wind jobs are currently located outside London and the south east, with the North East third at 10 per cent.

The wide range of jobs includes engineers, project managers, software designers, component manufactures, turbine technicians, welders, deep sea divers, boat crews and helicopter pilots.

The Industry Chair of OWIC Danielle Lane, UK Country Manager for Vattenfall, said: “The UK offshore wind industry employs thousands of people in parts of the country which other sectors fail to reach and which need levelling up the most.

“We offer opportunities to people from all backgrounds and with qualifications at every level to work in an industry which is playing a crucial role in tackling dangerous climate change, enabling us to meet the Government’s net zero emissions target as fast as possible.

RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive Melanie Onn, who leads on OWIC’s People and Skills work, said: “We’ll see a surge of tens of thousands of new jobs over the next five years as offshore wind will put the rocket boosters under the UK’s green economic recovery.

"By investing over £60 billion of private capital between now and 2026, this industry is helping to kickstart our economy after the pandemic.

“Renewables are creating new opportunities for people across the UK, from school-leavers and graduates to workers leaving fossil fuel industries, and we want to ensure the right training and support is in place to harness all the talent and expertise we’ll need in the transition to clean energy.”

Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “The environmental benefits of our world-leading offshore wind sector are clear to see, but as this study shows we’ll also have tens of thousands more jobs created in the sector in just the next few years alone.

“This is a sector with a bright future and earlier this week we published the Government’s North Sea Transition Deal which sets out how the UK will maximise the huge potential of our natural resources for clean renewable energy and attract more than £60billion of private investment over the next five years, creating jobs while also ending our contribution to climate change by 2050.”