Oil Workers Move To Renewable Jobs, But The Pay Is Lower

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By Tsvetana Paraskova

As thousands of oil and gas jobs disappeared during the oil price and demand crash last year, more and more former oil workers moved to jobs in the clean energy business, but they have also taken a pay cut moving to renewables as the industry still pays lower than oil and gas.

During the worst of the 2020 crisis, more than 100,000 jobs were lost in the oil, gas, and chemicals industries in the United States alone. Some of those jobs may never return, Deloitte said in a report in October last year.

On the other hand, there is a growing demand for skilled workers in the wind and solar industries, where installations continue to set records, including in the United States.

But there is a wage discrepancy, with jobs in renewables paying less than in oil and gas.

This issue has to be resolved, Jason Walsh, the head of BlueGreen Alliance of unions and environmental organizations, tells Bloomberg.

Job networking companies, like WorkRise, for example, have placed many former oil workers to work with the renewable energy industry.

WorkRise was founded as RigUp back in 2014 and was mostly providing services to the oil and gas industries.

Last month, RigUp said it was rebranding to WorkRise, to reflect the company’s evolution and growth both geographically and across industries.

“We founded RigUp in 2014 on the premise that technology could be used to more efficiently and effectively source skilled labor across the oil and gas industry. In the years that ensued, we found that our approach could be taken further; we could help address a much larger socioeconomic shift across the infrastructure industry,” co-founder and chief executive Xuan Yong said.

Last year alone, WorkRise placed some 4,500 skilled workers in the renewable energy business, a fourfold increase compared with 2019, Bloomberg notes. The number of workers who got a job in renewables accounted for nearly one-third of all workers who found jobs via WorkRise.

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