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UK’s underwater industry to create 180,000 new jobs by 2035

The UK’s underwater industry will create an estimated 180,000 new jobs and around £20 billion or more in exports by 2035, according to the Global Underwater Hub (GUH).

GUH’s recent survey of the sector revealed that almost 90% of subsea companies expect to recruit in the next 12 months, with a longer-term outlook already suggesting an additional 8,000 jobs over the next three years.

As previously announced, the underwater industry in the UK is currently valued at £8 billion with a third of the global market share and has the potential to grow to £45 billion by 2035.

“The exponential growth of the blue economy presents an unprecedented scale of opportunity on which the UK’s world-renowned underwater industry can capitalise,” said Neil Gordon, chief executive of the GUH.

“Already expanding on a global level, with multi-billion opportunities in emerging sectors where skills and technology are eminently transferable, such as floating offshore wind, wave and tidal energy, CCUS and hydrogen, the industry is also buoyed by the growth potential in aquaculture, oceanology, defence and the continuing evolution of the oil and gas sector.”

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The Global Underwater Hub has been established to ensure the industry achieves this growth, capitalising on the “unprecedented” scale of opportunity globally in the energy transition and the underwater segment of the blue economy, estimated to be worth £140 billion by 2035.

Backed by the Scottish and UK Governments with £13 million in funding but led and governed by industry, the GUH will support and accelerate growth to deliver new green jobs, technology and exports and net-zero targets.

Two further hubs in the South and North of England are due to be launched in the next 12 months to ensure that specialist, sector-specific support is available for the length and breadth of the country.

“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,” Gordon said.