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North East could attract 9,000 more energy jobs by 2030, report says

·2-min read

The North East of Scotland could support a further 9,000 offshore energy jobs by 2030 if the right funding is found, a report has suggested.

Research on the future of the energy workforce by Robert Gordon University shows that if the area attracts £17 billion in renewable energy funding, thousands of new jobs could be secured.

The findings were published as part of the university’s Making the Switch review which indicates the £17 billion must be front-loaded to establish new manufacturing and installation capacity in renewables.

Researchers also found that just 10% of jobs in the region are currently in renewables with the remaining 90% of jobs in oil and gas. The report estimates that three out of five jobs in the region will support renewables by 2030.

Energy secretary, Michael Matheson MSP, said the Scottish Government is standing by with £80 million of investment for existing oil and gas workers to be supported into roles in the renewables sector. He 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 nearly 10,000 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 £80 million of investment in for the Scottish carbon capture and storage Cluster.”

The report also warned that if investment in renewable energy is not hastened, it could put 17,000 local jobs at risk.

Professor Paul de Leeuw, of Robert Gordon University, 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.

“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.

“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.”

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