ScottishPower to add 1,000 new green jobs to workforce
Energy giant ScottishPower has announced plans to recruit workers into at least 1,000 green job roles over the next 12 months, in a bid to help with planning and construction of a burgeoning renewables pipeline.
ScottishPower has announced it will add, at a minimum, 1,000 “green jobs” to its workforce across all stages of the business. Roles will range from trainees to time-served trades and other roles. The company also believes that thousands of indirect jobs could be created across its UK supply chain in order to help with the development of major new projects.
The company recently secured contracts for 16 new renewable energy projects in the UK, ranging from offshore and onshore wind to solar installations. Total capacity for these projects will reach 2.1GW, almost doubling the firm’s green generation capacity at an investment cost of around £4bn.
Additionally, the company was awarded rights to three seabed projects in the January ScotWind auction, which will see offshore wind projects totaling 7GW in capacity created.
The company’s chief executive Keith Anderson said: “The future of energy in the UK has become a critical issue. Our climate change ambitions, the importance of energy sovereignty and the cost-of-living crisis all point to a need for speed in delivering more green, more secure and more affordable energy.
“The momentum of the first six months of 2022 and our record of achievement now gives us our biggest ever investment pipeline of green energy assets to help deliver the Government’s energy strategy and net zero for the UK. As a direct result, we now need at least 1,000 people to join us in new positions over the next twelve months to design, build and operate this green energy infrastructure and that’s why today, we’re issuing our biggest ever call for green recruits right across the country to fulfil our ambitions.”
UK green job market
Last year, research from campaign group Green New Deal UK found that more than 800,000 job losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic in the UK could be replaced by new green jobs, provided government and private investment is mobilised to push towards the 2050 net-zero target.
There were 202,100 green jobs in the UK in 2019. Sectors analysed include renewable power generation, energy flexibility, energy efficiency and electric vehicles (EVs). The largest single sector in terms of roles is the manufacturing of energy efficiency projects. This represented 37,900 of the roles.
While the figures seem strong in isolation, the 2014 edition of the report stated that there were 235,900 green jobs in the UK. Job losses were particularly pronounced in carbon capture and storage, with roles down by two-thirds in the five-year period. The Government notably axed a £1bn carbon capture competition in 2015. Job figure declines were also steep in onshore wind (37%) and ‘other renewable electricity’, which covers solar, tidal and hydro (66%).
However, the Government has shelved several recommendations put forward by MPs to support the UK’s ambition to host two million green jobs by 2030 – an aim it is not currently on track to achieve.
MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) published a report in October detailing a series of moves Ministers should take to close the green skills gap and create more skilled, well-paid jobs in the low-carbon sectors that will enable the nation’s net-zero transition.
That report, published after an in-depth inquiry, pointed out that the Net Zero Strategy only details plans to support the creation of 440,000 new jobs by 2030 and that the Government does not have an official definition for a “green job”.
The response from the Government is that the UK does not need a set deadline for firming up a definition of the term “green job” and also argues that the Government does not need to create a separate delivery body for its 2030 green jobs goal, as it has already convened the Green Jobs Taskforce.
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