There are more jobs to be filled in the power industry as the demand for alternative, renewable energy sources increases…
BY EMILY FROST
We live in a time where there is a greater need than ever to find ways of preserving our planet. Because of this, the power industry needs to continue the development of environmentally friendly methods of producing the energy we need. The UK Government has put targets in place to ensure that this happens in the near future – their aim is to have 15 per cent of the country’s power running off renewable sources by 2020.
It’s estimated that 35,000 new employees will be needed in the power industry by 2024 because of these new targets and that high-quality education in these fields will increase by 80 per cent. The power industry needs new, creative minds to come up with better solutions to energy problems and to help the country make a positive move towards the UK becoming a renewable energy fuelled society.
The range of jobs in the sustainable energy sector of the power industry is vast. By 2020, it is estimated that every home in the UK will be fitted with smart gas and electricity meters which will need to be fitted by trained installers. Alternatively, you could develop new designs for the next generation of wind turbines or work as a wind turbine installer. There are power industry jobs in a range of areas including construction, design, operation and maintenance which are based on-site, in offices or in laboratories.
Apprenticeship providers and universities look for people who have studied STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) as they provide the basis for further training, but they are not essential. Power industry companies offer a vast array of apprenticeships to people aged 16 upwards, including in wind turbine operation and maintenance.
These apprenticeships often have a minimum entry requirement of four GCSEs at grade C. Apprenticeships take three to four years to complete and allow you to gain an NVQ qualification which is a widely recognised certificate in the power industry, whilst earning a wage.
There are quite a few universities offering renewable energy-related degrees. These courses can be highly specific, such as a MEng Energy Engineering degree. Alternatively, you could study a broader subject like geography and then specialise in studying renewable energy as you work through the degree. These degrees take between three to five years to complete and many may offer you a year out to gain work experience in industry, in the UK, or abroad.
The renewable energy sector is opening up a wealth of opportunity for those looking to pursue a career in the power industry but more specifically, in an area that is providing people with the chance to use their own innovation and initiative and to help shape how the power industry of the future will develop. Click here to find out more about jobs in this fascinating sector.