ScottishPower creates 135 Scottish ‘green jobs’ in drive to net zero

SCOTTISHPOWER has revealed plans to create 152 “green jobs”, 135 of them in central and southern Scotland, hailing this as the “largest recruitment drive this century” by its SP Energy Networks business.

Glasgow-based ScottishPower, owned by Iberdrola of Spain, said the “jobs will be at the forefront of the transformation of the electricity network…and vital to delivering net zero”.

And, in spite of general reports of skills shortages in the UK economy, ScottishPower expressed confidence it would be able to fill the posts. It also declared it had been able to recruit people with the skills it needs throughout the pandemic.

READ MORE: Brexit: As Nando’s runs short of chicken, Boris Johnson must be brave enough to admit problems: Ian McConnell

ScottishPower flagged the proximity of its announcement to the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference, which will be held in Glasgow in November.

It said: “SP Energy Networks has launched its largest recruitment drive this century with 152 green jobs on offer over the next four months.”

ScottishPower noted that, over the next five years, SP Energy Networks is investing £2 billion in its transmission network “to support the increase in renewable energy needed to meet Scotland’s climate-change targets and to ensure a resilient and reliant network fit for the future as electricity demand grows”.

It added: “To help deliver this investment, SP Energy Networks is recruiting 126 candidates who will work across a number of major projects to build a transmission network fit for net zero.”

ScottishPower declared this would increase the staff employed in SP Energy Networks’ transmission business by more than 25%, emphasising this recruitment is “on top of the 135 apprentices and graduates across SP Energy Networks who started this year”.

It noted that an additional 26 people would be recruited into SP Energy Networks’ distribution business “to accelerate projects that support net zero ambitions”.

It added that the 152 new posts “offer long-term, skilled roles across varying disciplines including engineering, project management, construction, environmental planning and sustainability”.

Seventeen of the new jobs will be south of the Border.

A ScottishPower spokeswoman said: “Seventeen of the jobs will be outwith Scotland as they are related to our distribution network which we own and operate in both central and southern Scotland as well as North Wales, Merseyside, Cheshire and North Shropshire. These 17 jobs will be based in those areas.”

The new jobs were announced yesterday as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited SP Energy Networks’ Dealain House training centre at Cumbernauld near Glasgow.

Ms Sturgeon said: “To help tackle climate change, Scotland is already investing in green skills and attracting new green job opportunities. It is great to see ScottishPower creating 135 new green jobs in Scotland and I would encourage other employers to follow their lead.

READ MORE: Ian McConnell: Brexit could have taken many forms. Cheshire Cat Boris Johnson chose this one

“Looking ahead to COP26 in Glasgow in November, Scotland can be proud that our climate-change ambitions, backed by investment in creating a highly skilled green workforce, will be showcased on an international stage.”

Frank Mitchell, chief executive of SP Energy Networks, said: “With less than 100 days to go to COP26 in Glasgow, we’re bringing truly green jobs to Scotland to support the country with its ambitions to be net zero by 2045. These roles offer a variety of career opportunities in a company that is committed to net zero and is investing millions of pounds every single day to help bring about a cleaner, greener future.”

ScottishPower said: “The majority of roles will be based in central and southern Scotland where SP Energy Networks is responsible for the operation and maintenance of over 4,000 kilometres of cables and lines that make up the transmission network. This network connects generation infrastructure like windfarms into the electricity system and transports that electricity on to towns and cities.”

Asked whether SP Energy Networks anticipated any problems in filling the roles, in terms of current skills shortages, the ScottishPower spokeswoman replied: “With COP26 just around the corner, we believe it’s a very exciting time to join our industry to help us deliver the many major infrastructure projects required to build an electricity network fit for net zero.

“Many of the opportunities we have will include roles that many people will not typically associate with our sector and we want to help people match their skills to these opportunities. They all share one thing in common, and that’s helping us play our part in decarbonising the UK’s energy. Whether someone is starting out on their career or looking to retrain from elsewhere, there’s never been a more exciting time to join us.”

On the question of how ScottishPower as a whole had been finding the recruitment market in recent times in terms of finding people with the skills it needs, the spokeswoman said the company had “continued to successfully recruit new hires throughout the pandemic as we have adapted our recruitment and onboarding processes to work remotely”.

She added: “Increasingly we are finding people want to work for an organisation that shares their values and strives towards a clear and common purpose they can get behind.

“Everything we do at ScottishPower is about helping tackle the climate emergency and build a better future, quicker for everyone. It’s a big challenge, but it also makes ScottishPower a hugely inspiring place to work with opportunities to innovate and challenge yourself at every turn.”

SP Energy Networks employs around 2,700 people, with about 60% of these employees based in Scotland.

Mr Mitchell said: “We currently directly employ around 2,700 staff and over the next 12 months we are embarking on our largest recruitment drive in over 20 years.”

ScottishPower has around 5,500 employees in the UK, with about 70% of these staff based north of the Border.

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992