Survey to support new energy jobs, regions

A new survey will provide information for fossil fuel industry workers who need an exit strategy for themselves and their communities.

Energy Minister Chris Bowen said on Monday over 60,000 clean energy jobs could be created in Australia by 2025, most of them in regional areas, as the economy transitions to renewable energy.

But Australia lacks data to understand new energy sector jobs, the people in those jobs, and to accurately forecast how these jobs are changing.

The Australian Energy Employment Report, an online national survey of businesses on current and future workforce issues, will be released in the middle of each year.

“Australia is going to need thousands of workers every year entering the energy sector to build the massive infrastructure projects our energy grid needs and meet our emissions reduction targets,” Mr Bowen said.

He said the findings would give federal, state and local governments insights into the energy job market to help develop policies on jobs, skills development and training opportunities.

Assistant Minister for Energy Jenny McAllister said the data would support the national electric vehicle and energy performance strategies and offer a snapshot of workforce diversity to support greater participation by women.

The construction workforce for scheduled renewable generation, storage and transmission projects alone must increase by 12,000 across the eastern states by 2025, according to the Australian Energy Market Operator.

Around 31,000 extra workers could be needed by then to support the export of green hydrogen.

The Clean Energy Council said the survey would go a long way to ensuring the sector has the workforce required to deliver the wind, solar, battery storage and hydro capacity needed to maintain reliability and keep prices down.

“Opportunity comes knocking once in a generation,” the council’s CEO Kane Thornton said.

“This is our generation’s opportunity to deliver a clean energy future for Australia and set us up to become a global clean energy superpower, creating an extraordinary legacy for Australian workers,” he said.

The survey is running until April 30.


Marion Rae
(Australian Associated Press)


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