Thatcher Energy reported last year that the news of more investment into the wave and tidal market would cause a rise in wave and tidal jobs in the UK, and sure enough it has. But with this rise in jobs there are worries that there may be a skills shortage as the job market continues to flourish.
The industry has had a lot of support from the government, which has encouraged activity and backing from investors, resulting in the growth of the industry in the UK. There are now around 40 wave and tidal sites in the UK with more sites currently in the planning process.
Wave and Tidal Job Market
Over the last year we have witnessed a definite growth in the wave and tidal job market, with high demands for an array of professionals to enter the industry. And though the industry is developing at a rapid, healthy speed, there is also concern about skills shortages.
Common job vacancies include: Marine Energy Mechanical Engineer, Senior Electrical & Electronics Engineer, Senior Offshore Engineer — these are available across the UK and we predict this will rise further in the next year.
As wave and tidal projects develop, there is going to be an even greater demand for workers and we will see a continued shortage of skilled workers, especially electrical and mechanical engineers trained to work in the industry.
If we do not address the skill shortage in workers, the industry could be at significant risk. It’s great news that the industry is flourishing but if there are no workers to help develop the projects, everything could come to a grinding halt.
There are training courses already underway to address the skills shortages and encourage more professionals to enter the industry.
The Renewable Training Network (RTN) was established by RenewableUK to address the skills shortages for the renewable energy sector. This network is fantastic as it creates comprehensive training courses for those who wish to enter the industry and has provided 100 training places since autumn last year.
The Scottish Government has established a fund of £6.5 million to support a new energy skills centre and plans to have 1,000 training places to provide the correct skills to current technicians and engineering professionals wishing to move into the energy sector.
The course will be run by Energy Skills Scotland who hope to attract more women, young people and current professionals into the renewable energy industry. As the industry expands, it is important to remember we need to attract more people into the industry, and the training courses will address this and hopefully, overcome this obstacle.
The Future Job Market
In a recent press release from RenewableUK, they stated: “RenewableUK estimates that wave and tidal energy could be worth £6.1 billion to the UK by 2035, creating nearly 20,000 jobs — up from today’s 1,000 employed in these sectors.”
From a recruitment perspective, its exciting to see this growth and the industry looks forward to its continuing expansion, however more needs to be done to attract workers into the industry. We believe there is going to be a further rise in the wave and tidal jobs, and as long as we address the skills shortages now, the industry will continue to flourish.
Lead image: Wave breaking via Shutterstock
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