The energy sector is in a state of flux right now. With an energy crisis dominating headlines in 2022, commitments to renewable energy and a global skills shortage now is a critical time for the sector.
For employers within the energy sector, specific developments will impact the job market, from the skills shortages creating a more difficult hiring environment, through to legislation and investment driving projects forward and creating more demand.
Our latest article explores the key recruitment trends across Europe that energy firms need to know about.
The threat of the skills shortage
Within the energy sector, the shortage of skills has been identified as one of the most significant issues by 34% of workers and recruiters, according to our latest Energy Outlook Report. This shortage can be attributed to an ageing workforce and a need for appropriate and sustainable training.
With the energy sector expanding and green jobs growing at four times the overall UK employment market rate, this is creating a void between open opportunities and workers skilled enough to fill these positions. Without the appropriate staffing resources, projects will inevitably become delayed or shelved. This is, in turn, putting new projects at risk.
While the dearth of talent is itself a challenge, this is further exacerbated by the often-narrow job specifications limiting the range of professionals applying for jobs. The requirements for specific roles can often be overly-extensive, meaning that some professionals rule themselves out of the running due to a perception that they don’t meet the criteria. That isn’t to say that individuals aren’t qualified for these roles, but rather that the lack of clarity around the transferable skills and experience needed means they often aren’t identified as a viable option for many looking for a new position.
Legislating a commitment to change
New energy sector legislation has largely focused on the energy crisis. The Energy Prices Act 2022, coming into effect, has limited the revenue certain energy plants can earn and has awarded the BEIS more powers to intervene in the energy markets. As this bill was rushed through, further details about the various regulations still need to be released, however.
This legislation brings key commitments from the British Energy Security Strategy to drive £100 billion of private sector investment by 2030, bringing 480,000 clean jobs by 2040. This will be achieved through the acceleration of low-carbon technologies, the creation of a CO2 transport and storage network, scaling up heat pump manufacturing and installation and other initiatives.
The full effect of the Energy Prices Act 2022 on the labour market is yet to be felt. While it sounds like there will be a dramatic impact on the UK energy sector, this is certainly an area to watch closely and see what detail becomes a reality over the next few years.
Global renewable energy investment
Investment in low-carbon technology totalled $1.1 trillion globally in 2022, overtaking total investments in 2021. The energy crisis has partly accelerated this, driving faster development and deployment of clean energy technologies.
Renewable energy, including solar, biofuels, wind and other renewables, received the most significant investment total of $495 billion, though this was closely followed by electrified transport, which received $466 billion in 2022.
For the first time, the investment in renewable energy matched that of fossil fuel, despite the spending on fossil fuels increasing due to the energy crisis in 2022.
Looking forward, several key projects are the focus of large-scale investment:
- Four West and Central African nations will receive $311 million from the World Bank to fund renewable energy projects. These initiatives will seek to create around 106 megawatts of solar power generation capacity and 41 megawatts expansion of hydroelectric power.
- France and Spain are set to explore the possibility of building an underwater pipeline to transport green hydrogen between Barcelona and Marseille.
- The EU Green Deal Industrial Plan will generate €250 billion to increase the manufacturing capacity of green technologies.
These significant investment projects will create jobs requiring specific skill sets already in short supply. Without the proper training, the skills shortage in the energy sector will likely worsen over the coming years.
The energy sector is at a crucial point right now. There are large-scale investments and legislation that might encourage further growth in the industry. But that needs to be balanced with the skills shortage. With the right skills and experience, businesses will find it easier to meet demand from new projects, and the sector will be able to meet its ambitious targets.
It’s a time of constant change and increased demand for employers within the energy sector. Oil and Gas Jobs Search can help support your recruitment needs, assisting you in securing high-quality candidates so you can meet your business goals.