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Green Jobs Missed Chance

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Green Jobs Is A Missed Opportunity To Provide Jobs To Some Of The 1 Million Unemployed Young Workers In The UK

The money to fund green energy comes from UK consumers who have no choice but have every right to expect that the government would have an industrial strategy in place to promote jobs in the UK says GMB.

GMB, the union for energy workers, commented on the report published by trade body Renewable UK that there are 18,000 green jobs in the UK. See Notes to Editors for a copy of the report.

Gary Smith, GMB National Secretary said, “ In our opinion this report gives the wrong impression on the number of green jobs that could be created in the UK.

In fact the whole issue of green jobs is one massive missed opportunity for the UK to build up the green energy sector. These figures disguise the disgraceful lack of a proper strategy to promote the industry and the skills needed.

Just take the Thames Array as an example. It is our understanding that on this, one of the world’s largest wind farms, that the turbines and much of the Infrastructure was manufacture aboard and boats used to float the turbines into position were from the continent with a workforce also mainly from the continent.

If government and the industry are serious about developing green jobs in the UK they would not allow this to be happening. The money to fund green energy comes from the bills of UK consumers who have no choice in the matter. They have every right to expect that the government that decreed that they should pay for green energy would have an industrial strategy in place to promote jobs to the nearly 1 million young workers out of work in the UK.

This government is perfectly happy to promote the mixed economy when it comes to paying tax payers money to private sector corporations. However, when it comes to an industrial strategy to promote jobs and new industrial sectors the government leaves it to the same corporations which spend the money importing much of the technology from overseas. This is completely out of order and not acceptable.”

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Contact: Gary Smith, GMB National Secretary on 07710 618909 or GMB Press Office on 07921 289880 or 07974 251823.

Notes to Editors:

Green energy sector employs 18,000

Published 19 Sep 2013 - 12:18 by Press Association

By Emily Beament, Press Association Environment Correspondent

The UK's wind, wave and tidal energy sector directly employs more than 18,000 full time staff, an industry report said.

In addition, almost 16,000 people are indirectly employed as a result of the green energy industries, in businesses which supply products and services to the sector, the review published by trade body RenewableUK said.

The number of people working in the sector has increased by 74% since 2010 when RenewableUK conducted its original "working for a green Britain and Northern Ireland" study into employment in the wind, wave and tidal power industries.

The number of employees working in the offshore wind industry alone has more than doubled from 3,151 in 2010 to 6,830 in 2013, the updated report shows.

With 18,465 full time people directly employed in wind, wave and tidal power and 15,908 indirect jobs, the sector supports more than 34,300 jobs across the UK.

People are employed in construction and installation, planning and development, support services, operations and maintenance and manufacturing.

RenewableUK claimed more than 70,000 jobs could be created in the next decade with the right support, almost half of which would be in offshore wind.

The study showed that 91% of people employed in the sector were UK citizens, and a fifth were women, a lower proportion than in technical and professional occupations but higher than the power sector overall.

It also shows that small and medium sized businesses are key to the renewable power sectors, with 80% of all employers in wind, wave and tidal industries employing fewer than 250 people and more than half (56%) employing fewer than 25.

RenewableUK's chief executive Maria McCaffery said: "Today's report clearly demonstrates how the wind, wave and tidal industries are creating jobs and growth for the economy.

"There are tens of thousands of people employed in skilled jobs the length and breadth of the country building a world-leading industry in the UK and providing clean, reliable energy."

She added: "If the UK gets this right, our wind, wave and tidal industries could employ more than 70,000 people over the next decade.

"The offshore wind sector alone could be employing nearly 45,000 workers in the 2020s. As an industry we are truly creating jobs out of fresh air."

But she warned that further growth should not be taken for granted. The report assesses growth prospects in different scenarios and if there were low deployment of new renewables, offshore wind could actually see a reduction in jobs.

"To really harness the economic benefits of our technologies we must ensure that there is certainty for industry.

"Certainty on future levels of deployment of wind, wave and tidal energy over the next decade will enable firms to invest in the right people and the right skills, and ensure we maximise the number of green collar jobs we create as we transform our electricity system," she said.

A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) said: "The UK's wind and offshore sector has been a real success story. It is delivering jobs, investment and prosperity across the UK.

"There is no doubt that the sector will grow as worldwide demand for renewable technology increases.

"The Government is committed to helping the sector take advantage of these opportunities. In August, for example, we launched the Offshore Wind Industrial Strategy and are working closely with industry to help drive down costs."

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