HUNDREDS of thousands of people will be needed to help the UK reach its net zero target by 2050, the National Grid has said.

According to research from the National Grid, the North-East will play a 'crucial role' in helping the UK to hit net zero emissions, with 21,500 new jobs in the next thirty years fuelled by projects such as the North Sea Link at Blyth, which is constructing an electricity link between Norway and the UK via high voltage subsea cables.

Fresh consumer research conducted by YouGov also shows that tackling climate change could be the motivator to unlocking new talent as people of all ages are looking for a job with environmental purpose.

In the North-East 81 per cent of adults say they are keen to play their part in tackling climate change while 60 per cent in the region are specifically looking to work that is helping Britain to deliver its net zero goals.

Erinn Sapsford, Asset Strategy and Risk Specialist, who has been working on the North Sea Link, said: “I did an industry year placement with National Grid, and my passion was sparked! I returned as a graduate trainee, and I’ve just notched up five fantastic years working on big investment projects.

"I’m currently part of a team planning how we’ll run and maintain a new interconnector that’s being laid under the North Sea. It’s like a giant extension cable running from Norway to Britain. When we switch it on in 2021, we’ll be importing a flow of 100% clean energy from hydro generators."

Nationwide, some 117,000 need to be employed by the sector in the next decade to help meet key milestones up to 2050

Nicola Shaw, executive director of National Grid, said: "Our research shows that to deliver net zero, the energy industry needs to recruit hundreds of thousands of people over the next 30 years - and that really is the tip of the iceberg in terms of the wider impact of net zero across other industries.

"The time is now for the sector to rise to the challenge and overcome the issues we face in recruiting a diverse workforce with the skills to deliver the UK's ambitions."