Energy workforce challenges hindering UK’s 2050 net zero goal


National Grid has published a new report which reveals the four key energy workforce challenges likely to hinder the UK from meeting its 2050 net zero emissions goal.

According to the study, Building the Net Zero Energy Workforce, the UK needs to add 400,000 new energy jobs to achieve its 2050 goal. This means up to 117,000 new jobs need to be created this decade alone.

The four key energy workforce challenges include:

  • Warning of a looming retirement crunch.
  • Stiff competition for talent with other sectors.
  • A pipeline of young people pursuing STEM qualifications is still too narrow.
  • An ongoing lack of women in the sector.

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Other key study findings and recommendations include:

  • More than 21,000 new recruits are needed to deliver offshore wind and interconnector project off the coast of Blyth in Northumberland, in the North East.
  • Tackling climate change could be the motivator to unlocking new talent.
  • 28,000 new roles are needed to further develop offshore wind farms in the East of England.
  • 17,000 jobs are required to develop carbon capture and storage in the Yorkshire and Humber region.
  • In Scotland, 48,000 new workers will be needed by 2050 and 25,000 in Wales.
  • Over eight in ten women are keen to play their part in tackling climate change as are 73% of men.
  • 57% of adults want to work for an organisation that is helping the UK to deliver its net zero goals.

The report was written in partnership with Development Economics to provide recommendations to the UK’s Committee on Climate Change on how it can tailor energy generation, distribution and consumption policies in line with achieving carbon emissions reduction goals.

Nicola Shaw CBE, Executive Director of National Grid, said: “Britain reached a major milestone last year as we saw zero-carbon electricity outstrip fossil fuels for the first time. But there’s still a long way to go. As the pathway to net zero becomes clearer, so must our understanding of the jobs and skills we need to succeed.”

Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, Kwasi Kwarteng, said“Tackling climate change is not only saving the planet, but is significantly boosting our economy. As we work to reduce our emissions to net zero by 2050, the UK has the potential to support two million green-collar jobs across our world-class renewables sector, among other industries.”

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National Grid invests £7.5 million per year in training UK employees to ensure its people have the skills to meet the changing needs of a net zero nation.

Click here for more information about the report.