December 6 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Thousands of new jobs could be created in the region in the next decade in the fast-growing wind and marine power sector, according to a new report.
Across the country some 70,000 new jobs could be created with many of these set to benefit East Anglia, which is described as “a hotbed of activity for the offshore wind industry”.
Not only are wind turbines forming an increasing part of the seascape off the Suffolk coast, but companies in the county and elsewhere in the region are becoming heavily involved in producing the technology and machinery needed for the wind, wave and tidal energy sector.
RenewableUK, the trade body for the UK wind and marine renewables sector, said the industry now employs 18,465 people full time with 91% of the jobs in the UK currently filled by UK citizens.
The figure is equivalent to three times the number of people employed in the UK coal industry and a 74% increase in jobs since 2010.
When including indirect jobs – companies that supply goods and services to the sector – the wind, wave and tidal energy industries support the employment of more than 34,000 people.
RenewableUK says more than 70,000 new jobs could be created over the next decade – more than half of them in the wind power sector.
Director of renewables delivery, Rhys Thomas, said: “East Anglia is already a hotbed of activity for the offshore wind industry, and this report highlights just how big offshore wind could be for the UK.
“As this report shows, offshore jobs across the UK have doubled over the last year with over 6,800 workers now directly employed in the offshore wind industry.
“In addition there are thousands more working in industries supporting offshore wind.
“This workforce includes companies like Seajacks in Norfolk who over the last three years have picked up offshore wind work from Cumbria to Norfolk, and Ctruk in Brightlingsea building the next generation of offshore wind support vessels.
“East Anglia can continue to thrive, providing workers for this offshore wind revolution with the potential for 44,650 jobs across the UK in offshore wind over the next decade, but for companies to have confidence we need concerted Government action to demonstrate there’s a long term future for the industry.”
Authors of the new report say the job figures show how important the green economy is for providing and creating employment in the UK, often in parts of the country with high levels of unemployment.
Tendring District Council leader Peter Halliday said the authority had recently met with government ministers and business leaders to press home the area’s potential to play a major role in the wind, wave and tidal energy sector in the years ahead.
He said: “It’s certainly right to say this area is an industry hotbed – and I think it’s got the potential to burst into flames.
“We want to tap into that potential and we met with ministers and business leaders to enlighten them on what is happening in this district already and the potential of Harwich in particular to see if we can get core status and raise our profile.
“We have also been talking to Hutchison Ports to understand their land ownership at Harwich and their plans for the future to see what they can do with their land.
“We are doing our best – we know there are opportunities out there and we need to be positive.
“The industry is already providing a real bonus for the area – one firm servicing the turbines in Brightlingsea now employs 200 people – and we need to make sure the jobs stay here in the UK.”
Mr Halliday said it was crucial if foreign firms win the contracts they employ UK workers.