As the UK embarks on its journey to carbon neutrality by 2050, a National Grid report has suggested that the country must recruit around 400,000 green energy jobs in order to be successful.
The report, entitled Building the Net Zero Energy Workforce, goes on to highlight that in the short term 120,000+ jobs will be needed by 2030 while the country will also need to increase electricity generation by nearly 50 percent, install low-carbon heating solutions and fit 60,000 charging points for 11 million electric vehicles.
While recruiting on this scale might seem like too big a mountain to climb, it is in fact not only possible but is already a focus of the UK energy networks as they work to ensure the country hits its ambitious 2050 milestone.
The energy networks’ commitment to recruitment and reaching Net Zero has been present for some time – they even made such a pledge in their manifesto. The Green. Fair. Together – A manifesto for the Net Zero energy system, published by the Energy Networks Association, calls for Government and industry to form new partnerships to help in the creation of green collar jobs from a diverse range of ages, genders, ethnicities and backgrounds. These backgrounds include science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills, among many others which will all be crucial to reaching Net Zero.
The energy networks have also committed to ensuring each and every region of the UK will benefit from new talent. The work of regional grid operators in particular is woven into local communities, so energy networks know what it is like to be an important part of every town, village and community across the country.
Bolstering these commitments, the energy networks have already started to recruit and train new staff to ensure the estimated fifth of the workforce that could be lost due to retirement by 2030 will be replaced with capable protégées. In the past three years alone the energy networks have facilitated over 1,150 successful apprenticeships while spending over £156m on training for new and existing staff. And, with companies like UK Power Networks and SP Energy Networks celebrating multiple 40+ year work anniversaries, the new, greener talent will help drive change for many years to come.
One area that remains a crucial focus for the industry, however, is diversity. It is still working to be representative of the UK workforce for gender, BAME, disability, and under 24s – only 5 percent of the sector’s employees are from Black, Asian or minority ethnic groups, compared to 15 percent nationally. But, the energy networks are addressing this to make the industry more attractive, more accessible and more inclusive by breaking down barriers for entry and progression and using training as a way to support people from diverse backgrounds.
The UK’s path to decarbonisation is one of the most important journeys the country will ever have to take. However, the UK is not travelling alone and without direction. The energy networks are creating new green collar jobs that the industry and the climate needs from a pool of talented individuals that will fittingly not only get to shape the future of energy but benefit most from it.
Forget blue or white – the green collar jobs delivered by Britain’s network companies will help usher in the renewable revolution that will drive us forward towards Net Zero.
For further information, please visit the Securing a Greener Future website at: https://securingagreenfuture.uk/
Notes to Editors
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About Securing a Green Future
The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the role energy network companies have to play in tackling the climate emergency by providing the infrastructure needed to decarbonise our economy. Find out more at:
Fast facts about the role Britain’s energy networks are playing to decarbonise our economy:
- A third of Britain’s electricity is now generated from renewable sources that have been connected to energy networks, helping reduce UK carbon emissions to their lowest level since 1888 (BEIS, CCC)
- Britain’s local electricity grids have connected the equivalent of ten Hinkley Point C power plants in the last ten years – over 30GW in total (BEIS)
- Nearly 100 green gas production plants are now connected across the country (ABDA) – green gas could be used to heat up to 15m homes by 2050 (Cadent)
- The UK economy will need to spend between 1-2% of its total wealth each year to reach Net Zero by 2050 (CCC)
- Great Britain could save up to £40bn by 2050 by creating a more innovative, flexible energy system (Imperial College)
- Nearly £4,000 has been invested for every household in GB grid infrastructure in the country since privatisation in 1990 – £100bn in total (Ofgem)
- Another £1,600 is being invested for every household right now, under the current price control (2013-2023) – £45bn in total (Ofgem)
- Private investment helps bring down bills – electricity network costs have fallen by almost a fifth since privatisation whilst £100bn has been invested (Ofgem)
About Energy Networks Association (ENA)
- Energy Networks Association represents the companies that are responsible for operating the ‘wires and pipes’ of Britain’s gas and electricity network infrastructure, serving over 30 million customers across the country