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Capital Green Talent

05 May 2011 10:05:35

UK solar jobs index, 2nd quarter – April 2011 (barometer of solar employment in the UK)



Three months since the UK's first solar jobs index was published and what a quarter it has been.

With one of the most turbulent quarters in the UK's short lived solar history, it's extremely important to get a "real" indication of the effect the government's latest FiTs review is really having on the UK solar job market.

The index tracks the fluctuation in demand across the entire UK solar job market, within certain positions and national and regional variations. Additionally, we offer a little analysis. The data reported has been gathered by tracking solar job data across job boards, career portals and in a selection of newspapers.

The first chart shows the overall number and the percentage fluctuation in the UK solar job market over the last quarter. The major headline is that overall there has been a major increase in the number of solar jobs advertised across the UK. In fact, there is a 32% increase in the amount of solar jobs advertised in April 2011 compared to the first job index in January 2011. 

The second chart shows the increases and decreases in the different position types over the last quarter. This chart gives us the greatest insight into how the UK solar job market has changed since January. The largest percentage increases in positions are within technical positions (installers, engineers, technical and project managers) and the largest decrease in percentage terms is within sales positions.

The third chart outlines the fluctuation in position advertised across the UK over the last quarter from January to April 2011. Not much to report here, a slight increase in the numbers of solar jobs in England and small decreases in Scotland and Wales.

The fourth chart shows the regional spread of solar positions across England in April 2011.
The fifth chart shows the regional fluctuation in UK solar jobs over the last quarter. The biggest increase in advertised solar jobs has come from the North of England and the biggest decrease in advertised numbers is in London and the Midlands.

While not an exact science this index tells an interesting story. Although we are under a constant barrage of commentary about the government killing the UK solar industry overall job numbers are on the increase – a 32% increase over a turbulent quarter is no small number!

Over the last quarter we see a significant increase in the amount of technical positions and a percentage decline in sales positions advertised. Although sales positions still make up the largest majority of available positions it would appear that the UK is finally seeing "pipelines" converting and the roll out is beginning.

While we don't need to wait too long for the government to put an end to all the uncertainty surrounding FiTs and whether we are looking at market beyond 50kW the UK solar industry from a "hiring" prospective looks relatively healthy.

About Capital Green Talent and the author. Capital Green Talent specialises in renewable energy and cleantech executive search and recruitment. Three consultants headed by Regan George specialise in solar recruitment across Europe and Asia. If you would like more information about their solar recruiting solutions, this index, or anything else, please don’t hesitate to contact Regan.

For bigger versions of the charts referred to in the article, please contact us.


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