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UK aims to triple skilled offshore wind jobs

UK government targets 27,000 skilled posts and greater gender equality under 'sector deal'

A ‘sector deal’ between the UK offshore wind industry and government to be unveiled tomorrow aims by 2030 to triple the number of highly-skilled jobs in the sector and boost gender equality.

The government-industry pact – which will unlock “one of the greatest economic opportunities of our time”, according to energy minister Claire Perry – hopes to see at least 33% women in the total offshore wind workforce, up from 16% now.

It will also aim to increase the number of ‘green collar’ jobs in the industry to 27,000 jobs by 2030, against 7,200 today. The UK’s world-leading offshore wind build-out has seen major facilities set up by Siemens Gamesa in Hull and MHI Vestas on the Isle of Wight, among others.

According to the government, recent research shows that almost two-thirds of 18-24 year-olds would prefer a job in the green economy to one outside of it – equating to around 3.7 million young people in the UK.

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Perry said: “Working with the offshore wind industry, I want to ensure that women and young people benefit from this sea-change.”

The employment and gender targets were released by the UK’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) ahead of an expected full unveiling of the sector deal on Thursday.

It is the tenth sector deal signed by business secretary Greg Clark, and is seen by government as a major milestone in its industrial strategy. Similar deals have already been established with the life sciences, automotive, construction and nuclear sectors.

The industry-government pact was originally expected to be finalised as long ago as last autumn. It aims to deliver at least a third of the country’s electricity from offshore wind by 2030, attracting £48bn ($63bn) in investment in UK infrastructure and hitting an installed base of 30GW.

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