Wednesday, June 29, 2022
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“Thousands” of Scots jobs dependent on establishing North-East as global energy hub by 2030 

“THOUSANDS” of jobs are dependent on establishing the North-East of Scotland as a global energy hub by 2030, according to a new review.

The new review on the future shape of the energy workforce in the North-East of Scotland comes by way of Robert Gordon University (RGU).

It reveals that if the region attracts £17bn of renewables investment and activities over the next eight years it can be established as a global energy hub, securing thousands of new jobs. 

This report claims that this level of investment could secure 54,000 direct and indirect jobs in 2030, up from 45,000 today.

Wind turbines in the hills overlooking water.
There are aims to transform the North-East of Scotland into a global energy hub by 2030. Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash

However, the forecast scenarios also show reduced ambition could see up to 17,000 local jobs at risk, falling by up to 40% to 28,000 in eight years. 

The ‘Making the Switch’ report builds on RGU’s UK offshore energy workforce transferability review in 2021, which focused on UK wide forecasts.

With the North-East of Scotland representing around 28% of the UK’s offshore energy workforce, the region is an important part in the delivery of the energy transition.

Professor Paul de Leeuw, Director of the Energy Transition Institute at RGU, and the review’s lead author, said: “This review is an urgent call to action and highlights the size of the prize to create an exciting new energy future that will sustain and potentially grow the industry in the North-East of Scotland.

“Building on a legacy of over 50 years in oil and gas, there is a unique opportunity to re-shape a new energy future here.

“This will require rapid, targeted investment in the North-East to develop the project, manufacturing, installation, commissioning and operational infrastructure for the renewables sector.

“Sustaining the oil and gas sector’s skills and capabilities over the coming years will be critical in ensuring the region has the workforce ready to deliver on this ambition. 

“The energy transition will create exciting new opportunities and industry, governments and the education sector all have a key role to play.

“The opportunity of getting this right has the potential to secure the region’s economy as a global energy hub for decades to come.

“However, if we move too slowly, there won’t be a role for everyone, and it will risk a hard-hitting economic decline for the North-East of Scotland. This must be avoided at all costs.” 

Making the Switch states it is vital for the North-East of Scotland to retain its oil and gas workforce to provide ready-made skills to transition at the right time and support the required rapid green economy scale up.  

Although the research indicates that there will be medium to high levels of transferability across many of the jobs, around 10% are likely to have lower transferability and will be disproportionately impacted by the changes. 

The Scottish Government’s Net Zero & Energy Secretary, Michael Matheson MSP said: ” Scotland’s energy sector is at the forefront of our transformation to becoming a net zero nation.

“It is a major employer and source of economic output, and our oil and gas infrastructure and highly skilled workforce have long been at the forefront of energy innovation – which is why it is well-placed to embrace the transformation that lies ahead. 

“This review demonstrates that, with the right investment, the North-East of Scotland could support 9,000 more offshore energy jobs by 2030 than it currently does, becoming a net zero global energy hub that supports existing oil and gas roles into the renewables and low carbon roles of the future. 

“We also stand ready with £80m of investment in for the Scottish carbon capture and storage Cluster.

“We will continue to work with the sector to seize the economic and job opportunities offered by the offshore wind sector – helping to help Scotland secure a truly just transition to net zero, with no person or region left behind.” 

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