More people are employed servicing rollercoasters and ghost trains in the UK than working on wind turbines, a leading trade union has claimed.
The GMB said the fact that more British workers are employed at theme parks like Alton Towers and Legoland than in the wind industry shows how badly managed the “green revolution” has been said the GMB Union
More than 15,000 people were estimated to work in amusement parks in 2020 while there were 14,800 jobs in wind power during the same year, according to the Office of National Statistics.
Hydropower accounted for just 1,200 jobs in the same year – less than were employed in youth hostels, as clockmakers or in the horse racing industry.
Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary, said: “Offshore wind could provide a huge number of clean energy jobs here at home.”
“But this Government’s current practice is to send contracts overseas, leaving the nation open to ransom by despotic regimes.”
Smith added: “Ministers need to crack on and secure our energy future. That’s the single best way to make sure the next generation doesn’t face the same crushing cost of living crisis.”
Trade unions long campaigned against UK renewables jobs being sent overseas and says renewable energy subsidies must be tied to domestic manufacturing if they are going to make a meaningful reduction in emissions.
Other work on different projects has been lost to Germany, Finland and France.
MPs were told on Monday that the UK government should specify that support ships for offshore windfarms should be built at Scottish yards instead of orders going overseas.
Ian Waddell, General Secretary of the Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions, told the Commons Scottish Affairs committee it was “a no brainer” to expand military ship yards like Rosyth and BaE on the Clyde to engage in the new industry.
Waddell said: “We need something like 220 specialist vessels to install our offshore wind farms. Why wouldn’t you right from the start say those have to be built in the UK?”
“There’s a massive opportunity for the UK out there outside of military shipbuilding for a national infrastructure project
“Why would you hand to 220 vessels to a competitor nation if the government is serious about levelling up in these, by definition, coastal communities on the fringes of this country?”
“It’s an amazing opportunity to spend UK taxpayers money for something that we’re going to have to do anyway, and create an incredible opportunity.” MPs heard how guarantees of defence contracts led to “feast and famine” of work in the yards that could be supplemented by wind farm work.