Employment changes in the sustainable energy sector in Scotland

Ariel Bergmann, Ronald William McQuaid

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to consider 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 emphasise 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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2-17
    Number of pages16
    JournalWorld Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development
    Issue number1
    Early online dateNov 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • Industry
    • Renewable energy
    • Labour
    • Employment

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
    • General Energy


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