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E&Y - Powering the UK 2013: Empowering UK growth, jobs and energy users through continued investment - November 2013
The energy sector continues to play a vital role in the UK economy. In 2012, it provided £24b in direct economic contribution, an increase of £3b compared with 2011. It also contributed an additional £78b indirectly through the supply chain activities it supports, providing total gross value added of £102b. Moreover, the sector continues to be a large and consistent employer, directly employing 125,000 people in 2012 compared with 90,000 in 2008, a boost during an extended
recession. It additionally supported an estimated 539,000 jobs through supply chain activities for a total of 664,000, or 1 in 45.
UK jobs in 2012. This recent performance in terms of economic contribution and jobs growth highlights the critical role that the sector continues to play in the UK’s economic recovery.
Unlike other prominent sectors, such as financial services, the energy sector continues to create new jobs across the country, many of which cover a wide range of engineering and technical
skills. In addition, 86% of energy sector job growth between 2008 and 2013 has been outside London and Southern and Eastern England, compared with 53% for other sectors.
The energy sector has maintained high levels of investment.
Momentum from previous years has carried the industry forward, delivering new assets for the UK at a scale not seen for decades. Private sector investment in 2012 was £11.6b, which is higher than private sector investment in transport or public investment in health or education. Renewable-energy investment accounted for 31% of the total. There is also a pipeline of projects ready to build enough additional conventional power stations to replace ageing power stations and to power 25 to 30 million
homes (27 gigawatts) over the next decade. Many of these projects are awaiting implementation of Government policy decisions, such as the Electricity Market Reform packages, before committing to construction.
Despite the uncertainties, the sector is delivering a quiet energy revolution through the growth in lower-carbon generation and an increased focus on efficiency and technology at the consumer level. Thus the skills and workforce makeup it requires is also changing. As the industry’s existing workforce matures, the sector is investing in the future generation of engineers and operators, providing exciting and rewarding opportunities to graduate trainees and apprentices alike. Annual
apprentice enrolment increased from 970 to 1,430 between 2010 and 2011.
2012 was potentially an inflexion year for the energy sector. Growing awareness of and public debate around, major energy issues such as taxes and prices, as well as the role of and continued support for renewables, has intensified. Coupled with new issues such as the emergence of shale gas, the
progress being made in novel technologies and the decline i