By Daniel Hunter
Senior executives’ confidence in the UK green technology sector’s ability to create new jobs has waned according to a poll by Interim Partners, the number one provider of interim managers to the private sector.
Just 5% of senior executives expect the UK green technology sector to create the most new jobs over the next year, down from 18% last year.
Interim executives are managers or other senior executives, at or just below board-level, who are recruited on a short term basis.
Interim Partners says that confidence in the UK green technology sector has plummeted after the Government slashed its green subsidies for solar power and windfarms and commitments on renewable energy targets as part of its austerity programme.
The sector had previously been boosted by the Government’s support for increasing the UK’s renewable energy output, as part of the EU 2020 programme.
“The Government’s change of tack in its energy policy has put a dampener on green technology businesses’ expansion plans,” Doug Baird, Managing Director of Interim Partners, commented.
Interim Partners says that the scale back in Government support for renewable energy is not unique to the UK. Spain, a pioneer in renewable energy has seen Government subsidies cut as part of its austerity programme.
“The drastic drop in confidence in the green technology sector underscores how important consistent government policy is. It’s not just new jobs that are at stake, but existing ones too,” Baird added.
In contrast to the green technology sector, 27% of interims said they expected the construction sector to be the area where the most new jobs are created over the next year, up from just 10% last year. The sector was hit hard by the recession, but is now bouncing back.
Construction was one of only a few sectors to see growth in the UK GDP figures for Q4 2012. Statistics show that the 0.3% rise in output in the sector comes after a 2.5% fall between the second and third quarter of 2012.
“The construction sector is starting to look much healthier because of an increase in new housing developments and other projects that were put on ice because of the financial crisis but which have now begun to be restarted,” he said.
The survey also found that 70% of interim executives are ‘confident’ or ‘very confident’ that export opportunities will contribute to the recovery of the UK economy.
Interim Partners says that confidence in exports has been boosted by a weak pound. The pound has fallen to a 13-month low against the euro on the back of continued economic difficulty and the Bank of England’s Quantitative Easing programme.
Doug Baird comments: “Export performance was admittedly disappointing during 2012, but the weakening pound could reverse this in 2013. The British economy needs thriving exports, but exports need a helping hand. Hopefully the weak pound can give exports the boost they need.
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