This is the kind of boom we want to read about. A boom in jobs, but not only jobs, careers, and not only careers, but careers that mean preservation of resources and societal sustainability. Everywhere, the lookout for sustainable careers is merging with sustainability ecologically.
Australia has done quite well in the renewable energy transition, but it could do much more. The Clean Energy Council just released the largest study of current and projected employment in the renewable energy industry in Australia, Clean Energy At Work (PDF). The opportunity is large.
The study found that employment in the sector could increase from over 25,000 people today to 44,000 people by 2025. That is a boom.
The majority of those jobs would be outside of cities, places needing jobs the most. The Clean Energy At Work report projects 70% of renewable energy jobs in rural and regional areas in 2035.
“Clean Energy At Work shows the enormous job creation opportunity from renewable energy in Australia,” said Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton. “It’s clear that these renewable energy jobs can have an enormous positive impact on regional communities and should be a clear priority for government as part of the COVID-19 economic response.”
“It’s been recognized for some time now that Australia has developed a two-speed economy that has been detrimental to those living in regional and rural areas,” said Mr Thornton. “It’s vital that there is a focus on creating job opportunities outside our metropolitan centres and clean energy can deliver, allowing all Australians to benefit.”
However, you can’t just expect the people of a neglected region to be ready to install big renewable energy projects. Clean Energy Council agrees. “It is, therefore, a crucial time to take stock of industry and workforce needs and undertake critical skills forecasting to understand whether training systems can address potential skills shortages.”
The last 3 years set numerous new records in renewable energy. However, normal was never equitable, or ecologically sound. Coming out of the pandemic and not going backwards to a normal that did not work for many is now a global conversation. It’s a shared dream. Clean Energy Council is working for more job equality and commitment. It is not only about the installation and construction jobs, which come and go. The wind industry offers essential, needed, permanent roles that will provide some people with sustainable, permanent careers. Clean Energy At Work reveals that by 2035, as the industry grows in scale, as many as half of the jobs could be in operation and maintenance, especially in the wind sector.
“These have the potential to be ongoing, highly skilled and stable – avoiding the boom and bust of construction cycles,” explained Mr Thornton. “The Clean Energy Council has a strong focus on raising standards for workers and communities and maintaining integrity within the industry while accelerating the uptake of clean energy. The next step is about minimizing skills shortages and creating secure, ongoing and sustainable jobs in the industry. We haven’t always got this right. However, this is something we’re now working with our members and stakeholders to address.”
Clean Energy Council acknowledges the importance of the public sector, of political leaders, for this to work. “The role of government is essential in establishing a robust and secure renewable energy workforce. Without addressing the barriers and ensuring a strong policy landscape in support of the renewables industry, 11,000 jobs could be lost over the next decade.”
Author: Cynthia Shanan
Source: Clean Technica