THE number of people employed in the EU’s renewable energy sector has passed one million for the first time.
New statistics from the European Commission reveal that employment increased by 25% in 2010 as revenue raced ahead by 15% year-on-year to 127 billion Euros.
Paul Flynn of Earthstaff, a specialist recruitment company for the energy industry, said the figures were great news. “What is particularly interesting is the growth in green jobs in those regions hit hardest by the economic slowdown. Cabling installation engineers in both Germany and the UK for example, are in extremely high demand in the offshore wind sector.”
He went on: “There is a huge fight for engineering talent within the energy industry at the moment and a further noteworthy point is the movement of skills from oil and gas into the renewables sector, with professionals from oil and gas being attracted to the offshore wind industry in particular. Indeed, wind energy is seen as the new frontier and the careers that can be found there appear more secure in the long term, at least on the face of it.”
However, Flynn warned that such migration presents difficulties. “Oil and gas will continue to be the pillar of the energy industry for some time but there is already an aging workforce.
“And with offshore wind companies actively recruiting those with subsea and offshore drilling expertise, there could well be a major staffing crunch in the offing for firms operating in conventional oil and gas sector. These companies are already working hard to change attitudes and perceptions of the industry but still fall a little short of the growing reputation in the renewables industry.
“To put this into context, we find that companies operating in the renewable sector are a lot more receptive to speaking in person about hiring strategies with specialist agencies such as ourselves, which can help with their recruitment drives. We’ve flown people out to a wide range of destinations – from the Nordics to the Netherlands – to discuss long-term, continuous recruitment plans in person.”