More than 400,000 workers will be needed in the energy industry to help deliver the government’s ambition for net zero carbon by 2050.
That’s according to new research published by National Grid, which sets out how the energy sector can build a net zero energy workforce able to transform the UK’s energy system over the next 30 years, bringing opportunities for skilled tradespeople, engineers and other specialists across every region of the country.
Out of the job opportunities available, 260,000 will be in new roles, while 140,000 will be replacing those who have left the workforce.
A YouGov poll for National Grid found more than three quarters of UK adults (78%) want to play a part in reaching the net zero target and more than half (57%) of people across Britain want to work for an organisation that helps the UK get there.
In addition, around 83% of women said they are keen to play their part in tackling climate change as are 73% of men.
David Wright, Chief Electricity Engineer at National Grid said there is a “wave of momentum” about people wanting to join the energy industry, with more women wanting a “job of purpose”.
He told future Net Zero: “In the UK at the moment, only 12% of the engineers are female. What we found from the research actually is more women than men really want to do a job of purpose and help become part of delivering net zero moving forward. We’re incredibly excited about that because we want to get that full diversity of talent coming into the industry.
“We see females taking maths and physics courses through school and coming into the industry, there’s a huge opportunity to drive the future net zero workforce for the country.”
However, the report suggests there are challenges which include loss of existing talent due to a baby boomer retirement crunch and competition for skilled workers from other sectors, such as finance and technology.
It found in this decade alone, the industry must increase low carbon power generation by around 50%, install low carbon heating systems in 2.8 million homes, develop carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) technology and hydrogen networks as well as install 60,000 charging points to power 11 million electric vehicles (EVs).