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Renewables playing its part in UK employment market

By John Dean - 11 Feb 2011 11:55:1 GMT
Renewables playing its part in UK employment market

Research has revealed that renewable energy in the UK is starting to make an impact on employment statistics.

RenewableUK, the country's leading voice for the renewable energy industry, has published the most comprehensive ever employment figures for the wind energy industry, showing a 91 per cent increase in full-time employment in the sector between 2007/8 and 2009/10. The growth in employment stands in contrast to the overall UK employment level, which reduced during the same period by 3.4 per cent.

The study was jointly commissioned by RenewableUK and EU Skills, the Sector Skills Council for the Power Sector, from Warwick University 's Institute for Employment Research and Cambridge Econometrics.

Of the 10,800 full-time-equivalent (FTE) employees working directly in the sectors, the majority, or 56 per cent, are associated with large-scale onshore wind (turbine output of over 100kW), followed by 29 per cent in offshore wind, whilst 7–8 per cent of the workforce is employed in small-scale wind and around the same proportion in wave and tidal energy.

The report identifies 9,200 full-time employees as working in the large-scale wind energy industries in 2009/10. A comparable study commissioned by RenewableUK from Bain & Company in 2008 recorded 4,800.

Maria McCaffery MBE, Chief Executive of RenewableUK, said: ''This sector has withstood the negative GDP growth of the UK recession and bucked the overall employment trend in a spectacular way by a near doubling of the workforce.''