‘People’ are a company’s most valuable asset. So, it is good news that the ‘human resource’ supply chain is beginning to attract the same level of attention as other supply chains within the renewables industry.
Building a successful and exportable green energy sector relies just as heavily on developing a highly skilled workforce than it does any other factor. And finding the right people is one of the biggest and most enduring challenges.
The renewables industry is growing exponentially, so the demand for a strong, qualified workforce continues to increase. A report by National Grid has found that the UK must recruit ‘120,000 roles in the green energy industry by 2030 to help develop projects that can cut greenhouse gas emissions to near zero, with that number likely to reach 400,000 by 2050’.
However, the pool of experienced and industry-specific talent is becoming scarcer as companies compete to attract and retain the best people. With a fifth of energy sector employees due to retire by 2030, and fierce competition from other sectors, we need to grow the size of the pie instead of fighting over the slices.
There is no lack of appetite. The Guardian article stated that ‘people of all ages, from all regions across the UK, are “looking for a job with environmental purpose”.
It also found:
are keen to play their part in tackling climate change
are specifically looking to work for an organisation that is helping the UK to achieve its climate goals
Now is the time to engage the next generation of workers. It’s crucial that our young workforce is armed with the right skills to tap into this major employment opportunity via the national curriculum, training institutions and apprenticeships.
If the UK is to realise its 2030 target of 33% women in offshore wind, we must focus on promoting the need for a diverse talent pipeline. Companies thrive on diversity. A diverse culture creates more robust decision-making processes.
Nicola Shaw, the executive director of National Grid, said: “The time is now for the sector to rise to the challenge and overcome the longstanding issues we face in recruiting a diverse workforce with the right skills to deliver on the UK’s ambitions.”
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