Oil and gas jobs plummet as renewable jobs slow


JOBS in Scotland’s oil and gas sector have dropped by nearly 40% in the last decade, while new low carbon jobs have risen by just 2,500.

Data gathered from Offshore Energies UK and Experian found the number of jobs directly or indirectly employed in Scotland’s oil and gas sector have slumped from 117,900 in 2013 to just 74,100 in 2022.

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Meanwhile, it’s estimated the number of people employed in Scotland’s low carbon and renewable sector has risen from 23,200 to just 25,700.

The near-40% drop in oil and gas jobs comes in spite of 400 new drilling licenses across five separate rounds since 2013.

Estimates, based on government data and industry modelling, show the direct employment in the oil and gas sector has actually risen from 27,500 to 31,000, while the number of those indirectly working in the sector across the supply chain has plummeted from 90,400 to 43,000.

‘Green jobs revolution remains a myth’

Questions are now being raised about the sustainability of jobs in Scotland’s energy sector, as the Scottish Government continues to champion the desire to transition to the net zero capital of Europe.

Derek Thomson, the Scottish secretary of the union Unite, told The Herald more needs to be done to find ways of protecting jobs.

“It doesn’t take a mathematical genius to work out that the replacement ratio of jobs from oil and gas to renewables just isn’t possible on current trends,” he said.

“When you drill down further the offshore and onshore wind sectors have contracted in job numbers. These are the industries which politicians have repeatedly said would lead to a green jobs bonanza.

“The hard truth is there is no green jobs revolution, it remains a myth.

“The reality is that oil and gas will be part of the energy mix until at least 2050. We need to explore every policy tool to protect these jobs until there is greener jobs for oil and gas workers to make the transition. If not, we are on the verge of deliberately pushing tens of thousands of people into unemployment with no coherent energy plan in place.

“This situation would create a significant downturn in our economy and every one of us will pay the price for government failure.”

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