UK adding more than enough green jobs to counteract shrinking of oil and gas sector

Image: SSE Renewables

Within the same timeframe, the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) positions in the oil and gas industry have decreased by 28%.

This is a loss of around 8,500 jobs in fossil fuels compared to the creation of more than 40,000 roles in low-carbon and renewable energy sectors.

The data was confirmed on Friday (8 March) in a new posting from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS has tracked an 8% increase in FTE positions in low-carbon and renewable energy industries year-on-year for 2022. It also tracked a 28% boost for turnover, year-on-year, within the same parameter.

The biggest year-on-year increase in turnover was recorded for low-carbon electricity generation, at 53%.

But the sharpest annual growth in staff numbers was attributed to the service-based profession, at more than 91%.

Global Witness has stated that the figures should call into question the rhetoric the UK Government displayed at this week’s Budget speech and prompt a re-assessment of controversial new legislation that would mandate additional North Sea oil and gas expansion.

Senior campaigner Jonathan Noronha-Gant said: “This Government has slashed support for onshore wind and solar, and yet these jobs figures make it clear: they are the industries of the future.

“Instead of flogging this very dead horse, the government needs to face up to reality and give its full backing to the renewable energy industries, and ensure the creation of well-paid jobs within that sector, with good conditions for UK workers. This would both improve energy security and reduce emissions’’.

Earlier this month, a CBI Economics analysis revealed that the UK’s low-carbon sectors grew by 9% in 2023 compared with economic growth of less than 1% for the whole economy.

Bodies including the CBI have been calling for a modernised industrial strategy, with the net-zero transition at its heart, to help further maximise the economic growth opportunity presented.

The UK Government has not updated its Industrial Strategy or its Skills Strategy comprehensively since 2017 – two years before it enshrined in law the UK’s new long-term 2050 climate target.

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