There are some industries which have continued to grow every year, even through the COVID-19 pandemic. One of those industries is Renewable Energy.
Here at Carbon60, as sector specialists we have seen the growth first-hand. There are a huge number of jobs to fill, covering everything from Engineering to Planning, Business Development to Digital.
Our sister company Lorien, who specialise in digital and technology recruitment, recently published a blog featuring one of our Principal Consultants Barry Jones, and their Director Chris Barton. We’ll go over a few of their key talking points, and pinpoint some of the reasons why the Renewable Energy industry is booming.
A fully futureproofed industry
One of the main learnings from Barry and Chris was on the impact the pandemic has had on both clients and candidates within Renewables. The general theme is one of progress and positivity.
Chris said: “Renewable energy weathered the pandemic pretty well, overtaking fossil fuels as the largest source of UK electricity for a full year, and the result was quite a buoyant job market.”
He added: “On a personal level, I have definitely seen an increase in talent demand over the last year from renewable energy companies, but also from traditional energy providers looking to increase their footprint in renewables.”
Barry believes “the pandemic has changed how candidates job hunt”, and the future-focused nature of Renewables is one of the things that makes it so appealing.
“Few industries have such a clear path for industry expansion laid out, and the chance to be a part of that movement is a key driver for candidates.
There’s also a lot of career security in the renewables industry, given its focus on the future. I’m seeing increasing volumes of candidates choosing to turn their hand to roles in renewables over more traditional engineering roles.”
Solving the biggest problem
Business owners always talk about USPs and the need to solve an existing problem. In Renewables, every business is playing a huge part in solving the biggest and most urgent problem out there – climate change.
The necessity of taking steps to combat this is clear to everyone. A big part of the solution is producing clean energy, so as coal and gas power generation continue to be weaned off, renewable energy sources will take centre stage.
Naturally, this means there are excellent long-term career prospects here.
As Chris mentioned earlier, even traditional energy companies are looking to do their bit and increase their renewable footprint – so wherever you look, there are opportunities to be found.
Providing people with purpose
The days of people being happy with just a salary and the promise of a good final pension are long gone. It’s widely acknowledged that employees want more from a job, including a purpose and knowing they are doing something meaningful.
This desire has gone up a notch since the pandemic. A global study by Gartner saw 65% of respondents say the pandemic had made them rethink the place that work should have in their life, while 56% said they wanted to contribute more towards society.
This is one of the biggest attractions of the Renewable Energy sector. Anybody working in this space is helping to fight climate change and build the future energy system of the world.
In the blog for Lorien, Barry said this was one of the reasons he’s seen an increase in interest from jobseekers.
“I think renewable energy has always been an interesting industry to be a part of, but over the pandemic people have renewed their values and really want to feel like they are contributing to something meaningful.”
He summed it up best when saying: “It’s a very rewarding industry to join because you’re creating a world for the next generation.”
Ultimately, people working in Renewables are having a bigger impact on society than most industries. For purpose driven employees, this makes it ideal.
Promoted by policy makers
It’s understandable that after the instability of the last two years, jobseekers now want more certainty. They want to be at a company that can weather any storms, or in an industry that has a real future. Renewables definitely ticks these boxes.
There is no uncertainty in this industry – it’s backed by governments and is at the heart of many policies. For example, the UK has set a Net Zero carbon emissions target by 2050, along with a pledge to produce all electricity in the country through clean energy sources by 2035.
This is all driving demand within the industry, and as Chris pointed out, gives a lot of bargaining power to candidates.
“It’s an interesting one, because on the one hand a lot of candidates are drawn to the sector, but on the other, demand is massively on the rise. As a result, salaries and rates in the industry are staying quite lucrative, which is another plus for candidates reconsidering their careers. It’s not an industry where your value is going to decline, particularly because of the emphasis on specialism.”
All of this means that Renewables is as close to a sure thing as you can get.
Another consequence of the pandemic and people’s re-evaluation of what they want, is the shift towards wanting to travel. This has always been there, but as the world becomes less restrictive and more ‘borderless’, employees want to explore further.
Now, we mentioned the problems that are being solved by renewable energy earlier, and these problems are global. That means the same applies to job opportunities. Here at Carbon60, we’ve been placing candidates not just in the UK, but across Europe. Demand is high everywhere so it’s no surprise that people who are looking to relocate are keeping an eye on Renewables.
There are also many vacancies, such as Lead or Senior Engineers, which require occasional travel to overseas sites. This is great for people who don’t want to relocate completely.
Varied and cutting-edge tech
For people who are excited by technology, the Renewable Energy industry hits the sweet spot. You have the chance to work with a range of tools that are at the forefront of the latest developments.
The sheer nature of the industry requires constant thinking outside of the box. Recent examples are floating solar panels or the building of gigafactories for battery storage. For people who are passionate about innovation, there aren’t many better industries to be in – something Barry was keen to emphasise.
“You’re experimenting with new concepts, using the latest technology, and thinking outside the box. For people that are wanting to cut their teeth on the latest skills, you’d be hard pressed to find a better industry.”
A breadth of roles
Variety also comes in the types of roles you could do. Renewable energy projects – for example those involving Wind, Solar Energy or Battery Storage – require people from a range of backgrounds. You could also find yourself working on a site, in a lab, in an office, or at sea, so there’s something to suit most people.
In addition, there are plenty of transferable skills which open doors for people that aren’t in Renewables at the moment. Barry provided some examples in the blog for Lorien, saying:
“You might be surprised by how transferable skills for renewable energy are. I typically work with clients for renewable energy jobs in project and programme management, site engineering, quality engineering, project development, construction management, civil/structural engineering, HSE, technical and design, and logistics.
Experience in renewables will always be a selling point, but typically clients are looking for people with transferable skills in EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction), who will bring their experience and knowledge of the market with them.”
We also wrote a blog specifically about transferable skills here – feel free to take a read!
With so much global investment, and many government commitments, Renewables is fast becoming the industrial revolution of our times.
And whether it’s financial freedom, travel opportunities, or the chance to help change the world – there are several reasons why it’s highly sought after by jobseekers.
If it’s an industry you like the sound of, we’d love to have a chat and help you explore. Get in touch today!