The renewables energy sector will continue to grow in importance over the coming years as the energy transition from fossil fuels to cleaner, greener sources gathers pace. The EU is powering ahead as it aims to decarbonise and meet its energy efficiency and climate neutral targets by 2050, which in turn is creating thousands of renewable energy jobs. In our latest blog, we explore the latest policy news and progress being made in the EU, what the most in demand energy skills and roles are and some top talent attraction tips for employers.
Energy recruitment news
At present the majority of energy jobs across the EU are still in the more traditional sources such as oil and gas, nuclear and coal industries, though for many the transition cleaner energy and decarbonisation means that a large number of these roles fall within the renewables or green energy remit. Thanks to the growth of burgeoning mature industries such as solar photovoltaics, wind and bioenergy, many green jobs are also being created across the continent in a market that was worth €163bn in 2020, according to official European Commission figures, a significant increase of 9.2% from the €13.7bn recorded in the previous year (2019).
If we drill down to actual employment figures across the energy sector, of the 1.3m jobs created in 2020 we find that heat pumps were responsible for 318,000 jobs (24% of the total), followed by 238,000 in biofuels (22%) with wind power accounting for 280,400 (21%). This represented a significant 5.2% increase on 2019. Interestingly, the greatest number of renewable energy jobs were to be found in Germany with France, Spain and Italy making up the top four job creators across the continent. These numbers are only likely to grow during the current decade as we head towards the 2030 target deadline for carbon neutrality in a number of destinations.
With this uptick in demand across renewables, we’re also seeing more initiatives being introduced to bolster resources across the sector. Launched at the EU Sustainable Energy Week on 25 October 2021, the European Commission’s 2021 Equality Platform for the Energy Sector set out the foundations for creating workplaces that are more diverse and inclusive. The industry wants to be seen as a promoter of equal opportunities for people of different sex, gender, race, disability, age and sexual orientation. There is still plenty of work to be done in terms of equality, diversity and inclusion in energy, particularly on the gender front with a shortfall of women in the energy sector, but this latest news is certainly encouraging.
Energy jobs most in demand
In terms of employment opportunities, what are the hot jobs in demand? If we look at the US, figures published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), revealed that the fastest growing job was the wind turbine service technician with an estimated growth of 68.2% between 2020 and 2030, followed by solar photovoltaic installers hot on their heels, increasing 52.1% during the same period. The variety of roles is impressive with logisticians, service unit operators and software developers rounding off the top five.
Unsurprisingly, the requirement for those with Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths or ‘STEM’ skills is also set to skyrocket over the next decade with industrial machinery mechanics experts (21.3%), industrial engineers (21.3%) and construction managers (11.5%) all making the top 10. There is also a strong expected growth for environmental science and protection technicians (10.6%), millwrights in the manufacturing industry (10.3%), freight forwarders in transportation (9.9%) as well as operations managers (9.4%), chemical engineers (9.3%) and electricians (9.1%).
There were also other roles that perhaps you wouldn’t associate as much with renewable energy and green jobs but this goes to show that there are skilled individuals from a variety of backgrounds are much needed. Examples include the demand for economists working in environmental protection (13.1%), making it the ninth most in demand skill. There is good news too for marketing and comms, HR and legal experts, in particular PR specialists (11.4%), training and development specialists (10.8%), marketing managers (10%) and arbitrators, mediators and conciliators (9.7%).
The renewables energy sector and the transition to cleaner energy and decarbonisation is not only generating thousands of jobs globally but also fuelling a demand for specialist skills across a range of disciplines. From wind and solar power expertise to engineering, software, legal, marketing and HR, there are opportunities for people with different expertise. As we’ve seen in previous articles, the big challenge remains how to attract skilled people into a sector where talent demand outstrips supply.
For people wanting to make a difference to society and work on exciting projects, the energy sector has so much to offer. Companies must however fine-tune their employee value propositions (EVPs). Offering the right salary and benefits, including flexible working and training and development, is key if they want to meet the desires of workers, especially the new Gen Z ‘Zoomer’ generation.
Energy insights – closing the skills gaps
At Oil & Gas Job Search, we always strive to bring you the most extensive analysis of all the major trends in the energy industry. In our most recent articles, we’ve explored how organisations can plug the skills gaps.
Our top tips include:
- Widen your talent pools and consider people with transferable skills
- Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) boosts retention and performance
- Provide training and upskilling opportunities for your people
- Support employees with wellbeing programmes; offer flexible/hybrid working
- Commit resources to reducing any environmental damage to local communities
Find out how we can help your recruitment needs