Green energy drive leads to hiring boom

Energy giant ScottishPower has launched its biggest ever recruitment drive after securing a record number of green energy projects in the first six months of this year.

Woman engineer in uniform and holding yellow safety helmet with standing and checking wind turbine power in construction site renewable energy
The company, a subsidiary of Spanish multinational Iberdrola, said it would need to recruit at least 1,000 new staff over the coming year, when it will invest £4 billion in 16 new energy infrastructure projects, including offshore and onshore wind developments, and solar farms.
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Levelling up energy infrastructure investment

ScottishPower said the new jobs would be spread across many parts of the UK, including Merseyside, as well as across Scotland.The company has not commented on whether or not it will look overseas for some of the skills it will need. At present, there are more job vacancies in the UK – more than 1.3 million, according to official figures – than there are people registered as unemployed.Keith Anderson, ScottishPower Chief Executive, said: “The future of energy in the UK has become a critical issue. Our climate change ambitions, the importance of energy sovereignty and the cost-of-living crisis all point to a need for speed in delivering more green, more secure and more affordable energy.“The momentum of the first six months of 2022 and our record of achievement now gives us our biggest ever investment pipeline of green energy assets to help deliver the government’s energy strategy and net zero for the UK.“As a direct result, we now need at least 1,000 people to join us in new positions over the next 12 months to design, build and operate this green energy infrastructure, and that’s why today we’re issuing our biggest ever call for green recruits right across the country to fulfil our ambitions.”

Powering growth

ScottishPower pointed out that not only would the surge in projects boost its own workforce numbers, but had the potential to create thousands more in the green energy supply chain.So far this year, ScottishPower has won contracts to deliver renewable energy projects totalling 2.1GW across the UK – a total expected to almost double the company's existing green energy output.In June, the firm won seabed rights to develop or co-develop three offshore wind projects as part of the ScotWind auction. It is also investing in onshore transmission projects to prepare the network for the expected increase in renewable power projects over the coming years.

Green jobs take root

Minister for the Cabinet Office Alok Sharma, President of the COP26 conference held in Glasgow last year, hailed the ScottishPower announcement as a clear sign of the employment opportunities offered by the transition to net zero."In November 2020," he said, "the UK government launched the Green Jobs Taskforce to support the creation of two million skilled jobs to build back greener from the Covid-19 pandemic, and reach net zero emissions by 2050."Long-term, good-quality green jobs are crucial for the UK's economic recovery and tackling climate change. This green jobs push will help set the direction for the market as we transition to a high-skill, low-carbon economy."The announcement of the recruitment drive came as ScottishPower revealed earnings for the first half of the year – before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation – of £924.6 million.UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng described the "fantastic" announcement of new jobs as "a real vote of confidence in our energy security plans".

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