Employment Changes in the Sustainable Energy Sector in Scotland



McQuaid R & Bergmann A (2016) Employment Changes in the Sustainable Energy Sector in Scotland. World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, 13 (1), pp. 2-17.

Purpose: This paper considers the development of ‘Green’ jobs in one region of the European Union, Scotland, where the government has sought to develop renewable and sustainable energy industries and associated employment.  Design/methodology/approach: The paper analyses selected secondary data and policy documents and conceptualises issues concerning employment in the renewable energy sector.  Findings: It analyses published data and projections on employment in renewable energy sectors, considering the reasons for the lower actual job creation. Many of the jobs in the renewable energy sector are likely to be high-skilled, so there is need to support the development of low-skilled workers and job seekers so that they can enter and progress in the industry. Similarly there is a strong gender bias in the industry which may similarly reduce the entry and retention of the best staff and inhibit social equity.  Research limitations/implications: The paper suggests that ‘Career first’ recruitment and development policies are needed which emphasize improving both productivity and the ‘quality’ and attractiveness of sustainable, long-term careers in the sector.  Practical implications: In addition to relying on general labour attraction policies and separate industry specific skills initiatives for those already in work, more attention needs to be given to developing sustainable employment with career progression for people moving into, or already in, the industry.  Originality/value: The links between support for those moving into jobs and developing the skills of existing workers in sustainable industries have been under researched and this paper adds new conceptual developments, in terms of 'Career' first approaches and empirical analysis of employment in renewable industries in Scotland.

Industry; Renewable energy; employment

World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development: Volume 13, Issue 1

Publication date31/01/2016
Date accepted by journal30/11/2015