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RenewableUK and Energy & Utility Skills have published a new report demonstrating the employment potential of the UK’s wind and marine energy sector by 2021. The study, “Working for a Green Britain Vol 2”, outlines three possible market development scenarios (high growth, medium and low) in the wind, wave and tidal energy industries – if sufficient skilled recruits are available to employers.

Under the medium growth scenario, 67,200 new jobs will be created in the sector and its supply chain as wind and marine capacity reaches 41.5 gigawatts (GW) – up from 21,100 jobs in 2010. The high growth scenario (51.8GW) would require 115,000 full-time employees working directly in the sector or supporting it by providing raw materials, manufacturing or supplying business support services. Under the low growth scenario, with just 25.7GW of installed capacity, just 44,000 jobs would be supported. The report notes that this would represent a failure of the UK to harness both the economic and socio-political benefits offered by the renewables sector. The study suggests that the UK skills system is currently failing to ensure that an adequate supply of qualified new recruits is entering the labour market. It warns that a failure to address this issue could result in jobs going abroad, or being carried out in Britain by non-UK companies and workers. To achieve this growth, the UK needs an effective and stable policy and legislative framework for renewables, which provides clear incentives for private sector investment, and which encourages a willingness among all parties to invest in the people and skills required to underpin expansion.
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