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Green Revolution to Create 50,000 Jobs

May 13, 2008 - The Scotsman

Scotland is on the brink of a green jobs revolution with 50,000 posts expected to be created in the next decade, careers experts claim.

Wind analysts, turbine technicians and heat-pump installers will all be needed to cope with the renewable energy rush, according to Careers Scotland, which has started a new campaign to raise awareness of the growing green industry.

They say the number of jobs in fields such as recycling, conservation and renewables is set to rocket in the next ten years. Already there are an estimated 80,000 jobs in the renewable fields that did not previously exist, with another 50,000 predicted over the next decade. Careers Scotland's campaign the Path is Green, which was launched yesterday, aims to make sure there are enough skilled workers to fill the posts.


Alex Blackwood, the head of key labour market sectors at Careers Scotland, said: "It ranges from new jobs like wind-turbine engineers and solar-cell installers to traditional jobs like plumbing, where they will need a new skills set.

"Hopefully, young people will see things like wind farms and say, 'I would like to build these things. That's the job I want to do'.

"Young people interested in climate change and being green can have it both ways: they can do their bit to help the environment and make a good living."

The Scottish Government has set targets of generating 50 per cent of Scotland's electricity from renewables by 2020, meaning that businesses such as wind-turbine companies and energy firms are expected to expand to meet demand.

Areas where the number of jobs are expected to grow include engineers, plumbers, wind-turbine technicians, boiler-maintenance technicians, electricians, welders, wind analysts and solar-panel and heat-pump installers.

Henning von Barsewisch, the managing director of wind- turbine firm REpower, said his firm in Edinburgh has grown from two staff to 45 in the past four years and struggles to find enough engineers to fill jobs.

"We have to make sure there is the talent coming into the industry, that people choose to get an engineering degree and choose to come into this as a profession," he said.

He added: "We are moving from being on the fringes to being a key element of the energy industry. It means creating lots of jobs. Renewables will be a big employer in the future." Ros Hart, 25, is an engineer and works in the wave power sector. She would recommend her career choice.

"Wave power is a brand-new area of engineering and every day there are new problems to solve," she said. " It's good to be involved in something that is making a difference and changing the world for the better."


Jim Mather, the minister for enterprise, energy and tourism, said: "The global challenge to tackle climate change brings many opportunities for rewarding careers.

"Our huge renewables potential means Scotland will be at the forefront of the green energy revolution, bringing tremendous opportunities to work in this high-profile industry.

"Working in renewables will not only give you an exciting and varied career, you'll also be helping our economic recovery and helping to save the planet."

The campaign by Careers Scotland will include advertising, an electronic magazine, an online quiz and a competition for schools and colleges to highlight the various jobs available to young people and let them know what skills and qualifications are required.

Danny Logue, the director of Careers Scotland, said: "Young people entering the renewables sector can expect a long-term career and will be playing a part in making a difference to the future of Scotland.

"By raising awareness of these jobs and encouraging young people to consider them, we are aiming to ensure that the hundreds of Scottish companies involved in renewable energy have access to a suitably skilled workforce."



The job of wind turbine engineer would involve designing, making and maintaining components for wind turbines. These could be small micro-turbines for homes, those destined to be built on land, or the huge turbines for use offshore. Most wind turbine engineers will have trained as mechanical or electrical engineers, and will apply their knowledge of fluid and solid mechanics, hydraulics, thermodynamic and materials. They will earn between GBP 27,500 and GBP 40,500 a year. An engineering degree or other engineering qualification would be needed.


The job of wind analyst is crucial in helping to find suitable sites for wind farms.

Wind analysts examine weather data to estimate the projected wind output at a particular site, and use that to predict how much energy could be produced there by a wind farm.

They are usually experienced meteorologists, or engineers with a meteorological or fluid mechanics background.

Senior wind analysts can earn up to GBP 40,000. A degree in meteorology, maths or physics would be required.


Biomass development officers are responsible for the promotion and development of this alternative fuel market. This can involve preparing guidance materials, organising events or setting up advice services. A biomass development officer can expect to earn about GBP 25,000 a year.


There will be a growing demand for marine surveyors. The data they gather can be used to help build structures such as wind farms and wave energy machines. A degree in marine science, oceanogrophy, geology or similar would be expected, and the job will pay up to GBP 39,500 a year.

(c) 2008 Scotsman, The.Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.


Updated: 2016/06/30

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