Commenting, the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds MS said:
“We here in Wales are blessed with a wealth of resources when it comes to renewable energy, and it’s high time we capitalise on this.
Over the past few months, there have been considerable progress made in achieving long term capacity for floating offshore wind in the Celtic sea.
However, such progress can only benefit with a considerable workforce. With expert estimates stating that 10,000 new jobs are needed to manufacture just 1GW of floating offshore wind.
If we are serious about achieving our net zero targets, then it is fundamentally important that we push for the development of the right skills needed for the green energy sector.
An estimated 20,000 new jobs will be created by future Celtic Sea offshore wind jobs, creating a real need for programmes which will allow us to train the up-and-coming workforce.
I was therefore pleased to see that the Welsh Government has recognised the important role that apprenticeships can play as part of their Net Zero Skills Action Plan.
However, I am concerned about the potential impact that the proposed cuts to the apprenticeship program could have on this ability to train this new workforce.
If Welsh Labour are serious about tackling the climate crisis, then they must ensure that any more cuts do not impact the progress of their Net Zero Skills Action plan.
We are all running out of time, I cannot emphasise enough how important it is that we make the switch to green energy now. Not tomorrow or the day after that but right now.
The UK Conservative government has shown how little they care about the climate crisis, Welsh Labour must not do the same.
Apprenticeships in renewable energy are already a possibility, for instance the offshore wind energy company Ørsted already has a well-established apprenticeship scheme for wind turbine technicians as well as providing funds for STEM-related training and skills.
But the clock is ticking and now we need action.
We need to lay down a realistic and sustainable action plan that details the types of policies we can develop for skills delivery and workforce development.
No more talking or making empty promises, it’s time to act.”
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