180k jobs forecast

Hub to steer growth in subsea engineering sector

Neil Gordon: unprecedented opportunity

Britain’s underwater engineering sector could grow substantially, creating thousands of jobs and adding £20 billion to the country’s exports, according to new data.

A Global Underwater Hub has been unveiled today to oversee development of the UK’s blue economy, said to be worth about £8 billion, representing a third of the global market.

It says there is potential for it to grow to £45 billion by 2035 with opportunities in areas such as aquaculture, decommissioning, defence and telecoms and could create up to 180,000 jobs.

UK subsea companies are already recruiting for 8,000 jobs to be filled over the next three years.

Officially launched today at Subsea Expo, the GUH is backed by £13 million from Holyrood and Westminster and aims to deliver one of the biggest opportunities for revenue generation and job creation in the country’s sustainable recovery from the pandemic.

It employs 15 staff in Aberdeen, with a view to doubling the total across the organisation. Two further hubs in the South and North of England will launch in the next 12 months.

Neil Gordon, chief executive of GUH, believes there is an “unprecedented opportunity” for the UK to lead the world in things such as floating offshore wind, hydrogen and carbon capture, utilisation and storage.

He said: “Unleashing this potential requires addressing the challenges facing the industry not least of which is the increasing competition from other countries.

“Given the scale of the opportunity, Norway, France, Canada, Japan and Brazil are investing heavily in challenging the UK’s competitiveness with significant public sector intervention and investment.”

Mr Gordon said there is a need to find greater support for domestic companies, ensure a pipeline of talented people is available and promote collaboration on technology with other industries to help solve problems.

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