In a recently published Committee on Climate Change report, Reducing UK emissions Progress Report to Parliament, advisors are calling for the UK Government to retrain and redeploy skilled North Sea workers to the renewable sector.
According to the report, new and updated skills are needed in the transition to Net Zero, to compete in future global markets as well as responding to climate change itself.
“In particular, new support to train designers, builders and installers is urgently needed for low-carbon heating (especially heat pumps), energy and water efficiency, passive cooling, ventilation and thermal comfort, and property-level flood resilience.
The ability of a decarbonised UK manufacturing sector to compete in global markets is dependent on having a labour force with the requisite skills, not only in manufacturing products and materials, but also engineering, procurement and construction management services. If suppressed oil prices continue to affect jobs in the North Sea, we must retrain and redeploy this highly-skilled workforce in the UK’s future low-carbon industries, including CCS.”
This comes as The Scottish Government announced a £62 million Energy Transition Fund to support the sector over the next five years, indicative of the approach to tackling the labour requirements.
The report also stated that as the UK moves from setting the Net Zero target to implementing a path that will achieve this and greater focus is needed on the wider socioeconomic impacts of decarbonisation. The transition to net-zero will necessitate a shift in employment, away from some inherently high emitting activities to highly-skilled jobs to deliver the emissions reductions required.