Energy sector workers not confident that UK’s net-zero goals will be met
New research has found that more than half of energy sector professionals are skeptical about achieving the Government’s plan to decarbonise the UK power system by 2035, as the demand for low carbon workers skyrockets.
The research, conducted by City & Guilds and Engineering UK, involved surveying 1,000 energy sector workers, with 500 in high-carbon energy industries (such as oil and gas) and 500 in low-carbon industries (such as wind, solar, and nuclear).
As per the report, only 42% of energy sector workers express confidence in the readiness of businesses within the sector to achieve decarbonisation, while an equal 42% believe that the Government’s efforts to facilitate this transformation are sufficient.
However, the industry is currently grappling with a shortage of skilled workers in the green sector, as the energy job market experiences a transformative shift in the demand for specialised skill sets.
City & Guilds’ chief customer officer Andy Moss said: “To meet the skills needs of the sector, it’s vital we create opportunities for people to do just that.
“Yet, many employers have told us that uncertainty over the timing and scope of major energy projects inhibits their ability to invest in skills for the long-term. We must unite to tackle this, with industry and government working in partnership to equip the energy workforce with the green skills required for the future. If we don’t act now, we’ll almost certainly lose the race to a more sustainable future.”
A recent analysis conducted by economists at Lightcast unveiled a surge in job postings for renewable energy managers, witnessing a growth of 1114% between 2019 and 2022. Conversely, job postings for oil and gas analysts have experienced a significant decline of 43.4% during the same period.
As per the findings of the City and Guilds report, 60% of individuals employed in the high-carbon energy sector anticipate that the transition towards decarbonising the power system will jeopardise their jobs within the next two years.
Additionally, 33% of energy workers feel confident in their ability to adapt to future industry changes, while 25% express uncertainty about accessing training for such adaptations.
In spite of challenges, the industry exhibits a positive outlook towards the transition, as a significant 91% of respondents express openness to exploring opportunities in low-carbon industries now or in the future.
Spencer Ogden’s associate director EMEA Nick Worpole said: “As the need for talent in low carbon energy grows, employers in these industries need to change their perspective and recognise that if they’re to solve immediate and longer-term skills shortages, they need to take advantage of the huge wealth of knowledge, skills and experience that workers can transfer across from high carbon energy sectors. And they should offer opportunities for candidates to upskill and get key qualifications as part of their onboarding.”
According to a recent report by Ashurst, upskilling can play a dual role in facilitating businesses’ transition to net-zero through identifying investment prospects and developing green technology solutions, as well as overseeing carbon reduction targets for businesses, suppliers, and partners.
The recent Climate Change Committee (CCC) report unveiled that while emissions from the energy sector are currently 8% lower than pre-pandemic levels recorded in 2019, they still exceed the Government’s Net Zero Strategy pathway for 2021 by 44%.
The City and Guilds report has set out key recommendations for the Government and employers which include implementing stronger policy frameworks, fostering collaboration at the local level, investing in skills and lifelong learning, and cultivating a resilient skills pipeline.
© Faversham House Ltd 2023 edie news articles may be copied or forwarded for individual use only. No other reproduction or distribution is permitted without prior written consent.