Australia’s renewable industry is currently in the spotlight, as a huge study undertaken by the Clean Energy Council (CEC) made note that the sector employs more than 25,000 people, with the potential to reach 44,000 by 2025. According to Eco Generation, most of these job opportunities will sit in regional Australia, as noted by the Clean Energy At Work report from CEC.
Just released, the report comes after research was taken out by the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney. The study spans over large and small-scale solar battery storage, hydro, wind and pumped hydro, as well as the supply chains involved.
More than 70 per cent of renewable jobs up to the year 2035 will be placed across regional and rural Australia, which indicates a particularly important role in the sector for economic stability.
Thornton said Australia has developed a “two-speed economy” that has been a negative influence on both rural and regional areas.
“It’s vital that there is a focus on creating job opportunities outside our metropolitan centres and clean energy can deliver, allowing all Australians to benefit,” he said.
Goals, benchmarks and a clearer vision for the future
Australia’s renewables scene has attracted posiitve outcomes lately, with 2019 highlighting its success across record developments and installations. Right now is the most important time for the industry to be placed as a top priority for supporting job opportunities across these regional areas. And what this will take is the need to understand where training systems and skill gaps will need to be addressed in order to achieve these opportunities.
Currently more than 80 per cent of jobs in the sector are held by those working on construction and installation projects. By 2035, CEC says this will scale upwards to involve maintenance and operational roles. This will be particularly the case across wind, where permanent roles may also be more prevalent.
“These have the potential to be ongoing, highly skilled and stable – avoiding the boom and bust of construction cycles,” Thornton said. “The CEC has a strong focus on raising standards for workers and communities and maintaining integrity within the industry while accelerating the uptake of clean energy.”