Renewables sector only employs handful of modern apprentices
13 Sep 2013
Only a tiny fraction of the Scottish Government’s modern apprentices have found places in the renewable energy sector, it has emerged.
Of the 8,299 modern apprentices in Scotland, only 37 are working solely in the renewable energy and low-carbon market. And that does not necessarily mean Wind(ed)
This is despite SNP claims that the industry is fertile ground for young workers, and falls considerably short of the party’s pledge to find apprenticeships for 500 young people in the industry.
The figures were revealed following a Parliamentary Question by Scottish Conservative energy spokesman Murdo Fraser.
It is the latest blow for the Scottish Government in relation to employment in the renewable energy industry.
This week it emerged in an Audit Scotland report into the issue that, despite claims there would be 40,000 employed in the industry by 2020, experts thought this figure may be as low as 13,000.
Last year Alex Salmond was caught out for claiming there were 18,000 people currently working for the sector, when in-fact official figure was 11,000.
And the Auditor General even pointed out in this week’s report that the 11,000 has never been verified by the Scottish Government nor Scottish Renewables. So what is the real figure? And how many are permanent jobs or simply consultants and temporary road gangs?
Scottish Conservative energy spokesman Murdo Fraser MSP said:
“This is another huge question mark over exactly how lucrative the renewables industry is for Scotland.
“The Scottish Government needs to explain why, out of more than 8,000 apprenticeship places, only a handful are working in what it claims is a burgeoning industry.
“Alex Salmond says Scotland could be one of the renewables capitals of the world, but for whom?
“Our young people aren’t benefitting from it, bill payers aren’t benefitting and communities blighted by looming, unpopular windfarms certainly aren’t benefitting.
“The 37 modern apprenticeships is a reflection of an industry which has yet to prove itself.
“It relies on unreliable and intermittent sources, and it’s time the SNP came clean on exactly how little it is contributing to our economy.”
The SNP claimed in its 2011 manifesto (p34) that it would “as part of our announcement of a record number of modern apprenticeships each year for the next five years, we have confirmed 500 dedicated apprenticeships for the energy and low-carbon industry”. But the actual figure is 37
Below is a copy of the PQ from Murdo Fraser, along with the Scottish Government answer:
Murdo Fraser (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party):
To ask the Scottish Government how many modern apprenticeships it is supporting in the renewable energy and low-carbon sector.
Ms Angela Constance :
There are a number of Modern Apprenticeship Frameworks relevant to the renewable energy and low carbon sector in Scotland. As at the 28 June 2013 there were 8,299 Modern Apprentices being supported in engineering and related frameworks. Included in this is the Wind Turbine Operation and Maintenance Framework, which is currently the only one relevant solely to renewable energy, and 37 MAs are being supported through this framework.
Audit Scotland revealed earlier this week that the SNP’s renewables job target was in question: