UK energy sector must fill 400,000 jobs to hit net zero target

28th January 2020

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Mark Erskine

The UK's energy sector will need to recruit 400,000 new workers if it is to meet its target of net zero emissions by 2050, the National Grid has revealed today.

This will provide employment opportunities for skilled tradespeople, engineers and other specialists across the whole country, but particularly in the North of England.

This is outlined in a new report, which explores how employment will be impacted by the shift to net zero emissions, including the electrification of infrastructure and low-carbon heating of homes.

“As the pathway to net zero becomes clearer, so must our understanding of the jobs and skills we need to succeed,“ said Nicola Shaw CBE, executive director of the National Grid.

“The energy industry needs to recruit hundreds of thousands of people over the next thirty years – and that really is the tip of the iceberg in terms of the wider impact of net zero across other industries.

A geographical breakdown of the jobs needed to get the UK to net zero emissions by 2050 is shown below:

The report shows that more than 21,000 new recruits will be needed in the North East to deliver projects such as offshore wind and the interconnector off the coast of Blyth in Northumberland.

Almost 28,000 roles will be needed to work on projects in the East of England, while the development of carbon capture and storage in the Yorkshire and Humber region is projected to support the creation of over 17,000 jobs.

In Scotland, workers with net zero-related skills will be needed to fill over 48,000 jobs by 2050, with a further 25,000 roles expected in Wales.

“Britain reached a major milestone last year as we saw zero carbon electricity outstrip fossil fuels for the first time, but there's still a long way to go, Shaw continued.

The time is now for the sector to rise to the challenge and overcome the long-standing issues we face in recruiting a diverse workforce with the right skills to deliver on the UK's ambitions.“

Image credit: ©iStock

Graphic credit: National Grid


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