- Wales boasts the UK’s highest percentage of women employed in the offshore wind sector, at 45.9%.
- Wales has highest proportion of people in the UK employed at degree level or above for offshore wind jobs.
- Planning and consenting jobs in the Welsh offshore sector predicted to spike in next two years.
A new report by the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) provides a snapshot of offshore wind jobs across the UK and predicts a dramatic surge required to meet net zero.
The findings, launched at Renewable UK’s Global Offshore Wind 2023 event today, forecast the industry is set to employ 104,401 people across the UK by 2030 to meet current targets – an increase of 6,936 since last year’s prediction.
The report breaks down employment across 11 regions of the UK, with Wales coming out on top in terms of gender balance, currently employing the highest percentage of women at 45.9%.
The majority of current offshore jobs are based in Scotland and the Northeast, but the pipeline for fixed offshore wind in the Irish Sea and floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea region is set to be transformational for Wales and the Southwest.
The greatest proportion of higher level skills are found in Wales the southwest and London. Consenting and management jobs at degree level or above make up the largest concentration of offshore wind employment in Wales in 2023, reflecting the current planning phase of the Celtic Sea leasing round.
Manon Kynaston, Assistant Director for RenewableUK Cymru, said: “This report provides a welcome snapshot of the offshore wind employment in Wales today, and will help to build on our understanding of where we need to be in order to help transition into this dynamic sector to meet the Welsh Government’s 2035 renewable energy target and in line with the Net Zero Skills Action Plan.
We know the Celtic Sea leasing round will spark an increase in demand for people and skills in planning and consenting over the next two years as Celtic Sea leases are awarded. The employment demand for floating wind will also be substantially different to traditional fixed bottom windfarms. The fabrication and fit out of the floating towers will call for a much higher proportion of skilled fabrication trades onshore and in port facilities. But the skills picture is not limited to floating offshore wind in Wales. We need to take a broad, holistic approach across all career and employment opportunities related to renewables, to match the pipeline of our ambition. If we invest now and supercharge our approach to skills and training, we have a once in a generation opportunity for our future workforce across regions in Wales.”
Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Economy, will be delivering a keynote speech at Renewable UK’s Global Offshore Wind Conference in London tomorrow, setting out the importance of the offshore wind sector for Wales and the Welsh Government’s approach to promoting net zero skills