RenewableUK, the trade and professional body for the wind, wave and tidal industry, has joined forces with Britain’s largest union, Unite, in a bid to create 120,000 jobs in the green energy sector.
The two parties have signed a memorandum of understanding – a legal document detailing the terms of the agreement – that will see them working together to strive for greater employment in the renewable energy industry.
The pair will form campaigns to ensure industries such as wind, wave and tidal power reap full benefits both for the sector and its employees.
RenewableUK’s chief executive, Maria McCaffery, said, “The expansion of the wind, wave and tidal industry has the potential to generate up to 120,000 jobs over the next 10 years, both directly and through the UK-based supply chain that is growing alongside the industry.
“Many of the new opportunities the offshore wind industry in particular will generate will be in the old industrial areas along our coastline – areas badly in need of new employment.
“Working with Unite the Union, who will represent many of these future workers, will help us achieve this vision.”
There has been a rise in green energy employment in the EU recently, with official figures stating that there are now over one million people working in the sector.
Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Sweden had the most people employed in 2010, according to a European Commission study.
The UK meanwhile, was somewhat off the pace, with just over 30,000 green energy jobs occupied, 12,000 of which are in the wind, wave and tidal industries. However, this overall figure is expected to have risen since – especially in solar power following the introduction of the feed-in tariff scheme.
“As the foremost trade union in the UK energy sector, with members in every form of power generation and distribution, Unite is exceptionally mindful of the massive potential for growth and employment the renewable energy sector provides”, said Unite‘s national officer for energy, Kevin Coyne.
“Unite is committed to supporting the UK wind, wave and tidal industries to ensure that they create long term skilled employment opportunities.”
The cooperation is encouraging for the UK renewable energy industry, which has witnessed uncertainty since the Government’s initial decision to slash the solar power subsidies back in October.
You can ensure there is continued high demand for jobs in the sector by converting your home to renewable power. Get in touch with Good Energy to find out more.
Photo: Phault via Flickr