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??40,000 a year green jobs go begging

£40,000 a year green jobs go begging(By Jenny Haworth via News.Scotsman.com)SIX out of ten green energy companies in Scotland are struggling to fill

job vacancies, new research has shown.A survey seen by The Scotsman reveals the growing renewables sector in

Scotland has been hit by a skills shortage.Industry experts have warned that challenging climate change targets will

not be met unless there is a huge increase in the availability of workers

for the wind, marine, solar and biomass industries.The problem is highlighted in a report by the employers organisation

Alliance of Sector Skills Councils Scotland, which surveyed 55 renewables

employers north of the Border between January and March this year.It found 57 per cent of green energy companies struggled to fill vacancies,

that training for the sector was "fragmented" and that there was an ageing

workforce. Most staff members were aged between 45 and 54.Scotland has challenging targets of generating 50 per cent of electricity

from renewables by 2020.Jim Brown, skills director for Scotland at Energy and Utility Skills, said

lack of workers with the required skills was a "huge problem"."We need the people," he said. "If we don't get the people, we won't meet

the targets."Previous research has shown that in order to meet renewables targets, about

60,000 people must be employed in the sector by 2020 across the UK,

compared with about 5,000 today.Mr Brown said more needed to be done in schools and universities to

highlight opportunities, and better training was required. "Awareness of

renewables is out there but people don't necessarily understand how there

can be career opportunities in it, partly because the sector is still in

its infancy."However, he said efforts were being made to improve the situation, with

initiatives such as "The Path is Green", a campaign by Career Scotland to

raise awareness of renewables jobs.And he said the benefits for those who do end up employed in the renewables

sector can be enormous, with salaries increasing rapidly over recent years

due to competition for skilled staff.Henning von Barsewisch, managing director of Edinburgh-based wind turbine

company Repower UK, said: "These people need to come from somewhere. If we

can't find them it will be critical. We will have businesses that are

behind their potential and we wouldn't hit the environmental targets and

the carbon reduction targets."They are not only safe jobs for the long term, but they also do something

that is relevant for the future. It's fascinating to be part of changing

something."He added:"If you are in a growing industry, the opportunity is also there

to go into management."For the very latest renewable energy jobs from across the United Kingdom

and globally please click here