Pembrokeshire enlists former oil worker to promote renewables careers

With tens of thousands of jobs coming online to support the UK’s transition to net zero, school, college and university leavers should look to green energy opportunities, says a former fossil fuel worker. 

Employed in the Welsh oil and gas industry for 14 years, Naomi Bowen has made the switch to renewables, taking a job in on-shore wind at RWE. She is now advocating others to follow in this emerging career path. 

Based in Pembrokeshire, a county which currently supplies around one-fifth of Britain’s energy needs, the county council is now engaged in a concerted push to get more people to consider working in the sector. This includes the production of a new film espousing the benefits of jobs in the industry. 

Successive studies have shown that younger demographics, and in particular Gen Z, place high value on climate-aligned and environmental careers. KPMG’s recent survey showed one-in-three candidates within this generation wanted to work in roles that contributed to solutions for and mitigation of the climate crisis. Many had rejected jobs with companies due to poor ‘green credentials’. 

While sectors like renewable energy are rapidly expanding, the workforce is struggling to keep pace, and a skills gap is widening across the world. A recent Environment Journal feature looked at how councils can plug holes in their workforce through in-house training, and in the past we have reported on the threat to net zero posed by a lack of trained and qualified professionals. 

‘I don’t think young people are aware of all the different roles available within the sector, and the transferrable skills needed for many of the roles. Even though there is interest, they just aren’t aware of what is out there. There is so much variety and choice, especially for young women coming from STEM backgrounds, from tech and engineering to project management and design,’ said Bowen. ‘Diversity within the renewables industry is getting better each year too, with more and more equality, it’s never felt more inclusive,’ she continued. ‘There are so many career opportunities here. I would urge the next generation 

‘A renewable energy revolution is kick starting in the county,’ added Steven Richards-Downes, Director of Education for Pembrokeshire. ‘We have a huge opportunity to become pioneers of renewable energies and trailblazers in technology, working alongside existing industries. Thousands of new careers are in the pipeline – from chemists, scientists and engineers to plumbers, pilots, project managers and everything in between. There has never been a better time to consider a career in renewable energy in Pembrokeshire.’

More on energy: 

Quick question: How do vanadium flow batteries stabilise a renewable grid?

Bangor and Lancaster lead on floating solar development

Onezero Energy to launch community power scheme in Brighton & Hove

Image: Pembrokeshire County Council 


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