A new report published today by Robert Gordon University (RGU) which shows the UK offshore energy workforce has vast potential to overcome challenges and grow has been praised by leading trade body, Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) as crucial to efforts to deliver a managed energy transition.
RGU’s Powering up the Workforce Report 2023 revealed the UK offshore energy workforce could increase by up to 50% from over 150,000 in 2023 to 225,000 by the end of the decade with new renewable jobs outnumbering oil and gas roles if a successful transition is achieved.
However, the report warns that if the rate of investment and activity in renewables in the UK fails to increase significantly, at a time when oil and gas activities are in rapid decline, then up to 95,000 potential offshore energy jobs will be at risk.
David Whitehouse, CEO of OEUK, which represents over 400 organisations with an interest in offshore oil, gas, carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and wind, responded to the report which comes a week after the leading trade body published its 2023 Economic Report.
OEUK has consistently championed people and skills which are integral to the North Sea Transition Deal with initiatives including the Energy Skills Alliance, Skills Passport and Connected Competence. These are just some of the projects aimed at ensuring the full potential of the UK’s highly skilled people is realised as the expansion of homegrown offshore energies continues.
Mr Whitehouse said:
“Meeting more of our needs from energy produced in the UK means more jobs in the UK. The UK offshore energy sector embraces the challenges and opportunities of the energy transition. Not only in oil and gas but the future opportunities in wind, carbon storage, and a hydrogen economy.
But this report shows that we must embrace the opportunity to work with all energy sectors or risk losing 95,000 highly skilled jobs in the UK by 2030. When looking at our future energy networks and supplies, there is no simple choice between oil and gas or renewables. The reality is that to keep our homes warm, the lights on, and our economy growing, we need both – this report clearly shows that cross-energy sector cooperation is the route to delivering high skilled jobs, a growing economy, and a successful energy transition.”