The report by the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) shows a surge in the number of people working in the industry, and a substantial increase in the private investment that the sector is attracting every year.
The sector supports over 31,000 jobs, according to the UK Offshore Wind Skills Intelligence Report – a 16% increase on the 26,000 jobs reported in last year’s survey. 19,600 are direct jobs (solely in offshore wind) and 11,500 are indirect (eg. supply chain companies that manufacture products for the industry and goods for other sectors). 30% of the jobs are in Scotland, and the English region benefitting most is Yorkshire and The Humber, where 15% are located.
The study also estimates that by 2030, the industry will employ over 97,000 people in the UK (61,000 direct jobs and 36,000 indirect).
The report states that between 2022 and 2030, the industry will see £155bn of private investment in new offshore wind projects, taking the average annual spend to over £17bn a year – significantly higher than the level of private investment reported last year, which showed an average annual spend of just over £10bn.
The increases reflect the enormous expansion of the UK’s total ‘pipeline’ of offshore wind projects at all stages of development over the past 12 months, which now stands at 86GW. This 60% increase was mainly driven by major leasing round announcements by the Crown Estate (8GW) and Crown Estate Scotland (25GW in ScotWind).
“This report shows that we’re making rapid progress in seizing the economic benefits of the Green Industrial Revolution, and that we’ll need to continue to grow fast to ensure that we meet the government’s target of 50GW of offshore wind by 2030 – a fivefold increase in our current capacity. That’s why it’s important for industry and government to work together to address skills shortages in areas like electrical engineering and data analysis, so we can boost the number of high-quality green jobs in offshore wind throughout this decade,” said OWIC people and skills leader Melanie Onn, deputy chief executive of trade organisation RenewableUK.
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