Tackling the Renewable Energy Sector's Recruitment Hurdles: Insights with Nick Worpole

Sharing valuable insights, Nick Worpole, EMEA Director at Spencer Ogden, speaks about the current challenges and opportunities facing the UK's renewable energy sector, highlighting the issues from a recruitment perspective. As the industry sees rapid growth due to global efforts to fight climate change, finding the right talent has become a significant hurdle. This situation creates a unique scenario for recruitment companies and businesses within the sector to rethink and adapt their strategies.

The State of Renewable Energy in the UK

The renewable energy sector in the UK is booming, driven by a worldwide push towards more eco-friendly energy sources. This growth isn't just about new projects and advancements in technology, it includes the financial and business models that support these initiatives. However, the industry is facing a major challenge: a lack of talented professionals. The sector is eager for people who have experience in or passion for renewables, but such candidates are scarce because the industry itself hasn't been around that long.

​​Recruitment Trends and Obstacles

Recruitment agencies play a crucial role in addressing this talent gap. By looking into traditional sectors like oil and gas to find people with skills that can be transferred to renewables. This involves identifying professionals with relevant experience and helping them transition to roles in growing areas such as offshore wind, solar energy, and green hydrogen projects. The main challenge is not only finding talented individuals but also convincing the renewable sector of the value of these transferable skills. Nick and his team have actively engaged with clients to tackle these issues, with a keen focus on the similarities in skill sets across different energy sectors, emphasising how an experienced electrical engineer from oil and gas, for example, can easily fit into a renewable energy project.

Technology Skill Demands

Advances in renewable technology, particularly in green hydrogen and battery storage, have introduced new complexities into the recruitment process. These areas require specific skills that are not widely available in the job market. Spencer Ogden has been successful in bridging this gap by targeting professionals from related fields, such as those experienced in industrial gas production for green hydrogen projects, or those with a background in grid projects for battery storage roles.

Looking Forward After COP28

Following COP28, the emphasis on bridging the skills gap in the renewable energy sector has become even more critical, projections suggest that over 139 million jobs will be needed by 2030 to power the energy transition. Worpole stresses the importance of collective efforts to address this challenge, encouraging businesses and professionals to contribute towards making the energy transition efficient and sustainable. While focusing on renewables, it's also important to consider enhancing grid capabilities and exploring nuclear energy to ensure a consistent supply of power throughout the year. Integrating different energy sources like wind and solar with storage solutions like green hydrogen and batteries can provide a stable and reliable energy mix.

​The shift towards renewable energy is not just an environmental imperative but also poses a significant recruitment challenge. By recognising and strategically addressing the talent gap, the renewable sector can continue to expand and contribute to a sustainable future. If you’ve found this article useful and would like to hear more of what Nick has to say on the effects of COP28’s commitments on talent, you can dive deeper into our latest report, Powering the Energy Transition.

Tackling the Renewable Energy Sector's Recruitment Hurdles: Insights with Nick Worpole
Blog Info
Alice Jones
12 MAR 2024
Share this blog