New Brunel Energy Market Survey – “Fact to the Future”: Skills shortages and the need to attract and develop young talents present workforce challenges across the entire energy industry

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Two Brunel "Fact to the Future" Reports – on Renewable and Conventional Energy jobs – show industry challenges and highlight potential for business optimisation

- Renewable Energy: An attractive industry environment is no cure-all – An urgent need exists for retraining and further education

- Conventional Energy: Outlooks for the future are positive, but concerns about digital transformation persist

In a recent survey conducted worldwide among over 1,300 employees in the Conventional and Renewable Energy sectors, one thing became abundantly clear: Both industries can overcome their challenges only by acquiring and educating young talent and retaining experienced skilled workers.

Renewables specialists rate a lack of qualified professionals as the industry's biggest challenge in managing the energy transition. Meanwhile, 88 percent of specialists in Conventional Energy believe this industry provides reliable energy security that cannot yet be met by Renewables alone until the transition to green energy is successfully completed around the globe. Only then will attractive projects and jobs be assured for years to come.

Brunel’s release of these two trend reports has sparked off a fresh debate around Renewable and Conventional Energy by leveraging transparent industry insights to expose current trends. Under the heading "Fact to the Future", Brunel commissioned an independent research firm to engage in long-term data collection and analysis. This was done by surveying experts directly involved in the energy sector. Brunel itself is a global specialist delivering customised project and workforce solutions to drive sustainable industry transformations through technology and talent.

"The reports reinforce our role as a thought leader and workforce specialist for technologically demanding sectors such as the energy industry," explains Jilko Andringa, Chief Executive Officer at Brunel International N.V. "We have our finger on the pulse of the very people who drive global energy projects every day –employees in the front line of the energy transformation. The insights from this research help us develop and deliver solutions that fit the specific needs of our energy clients and specialists," adds Jon Proctor, Managing Director of Operations at Brunel. "'Fact to the Future' not only provides authentic insights into the organisational and specialist challenges and trends that face the industry. It also presents businesses with actionable recommendations to enable better working and market conditions."

"Fact to the Future" – Summary of the Trend Report Findings


Renewable Energy


Caught Between High Industry Attractiveness and Challenging Skills Shortage

For survey respondents in the Renewable Energy sector, professional development clearly plays a pivotal role. Over 18 percent of experts indeed cite this as the primary reason for their involvement in the field, closely followed by positive perceptions of the industry and the opportunity to build a meaningful career. However, it is no longer sufficient to rely solely on the sector’s sustainable reputation: The most common challenge identified by professionals is a shortage of the qualified specialists who are needed to efficiently manage the energy transition.

Greater Support Needed for Training in Renewable Energy

The respondents see training for individuals transitioning from other closely related fields as a good solution: More than 20 percent saw this as the best way to attract new young professionals. Asked about the most crucial areas where professionals and their employers require more support, just over 20 percent cited the need for further training and development, while nearly 16 percent stressed the need for assistance in navigating local employment regulations and compliance issues. To create more attractive job prospects in a highly competitive applicant market, companies across the industry should thoroughly review these areas for improvement. 

Differences in Retaining Male and Female Talent

Flexible and attractive benefit packages, an improved work-life balance and clear career progression opportunities: These are the key factors that help companies enhance employee retention in Renewable Energy. While men in particular emphasised a healthy work-life balance as a reason to stay in the industry, female professionals placed greater emphasis on flexible and attractive benefit packages. 

Conventional Energy


Strong Confidence in Future Viability Among Professionals

One of the key findings of the Conventional Energy industry survey is that professionals are optimistic about their current and future employment prospects – despite the expectation of a potential future decline in fossil fuel projects. Almost three quarters of the Conventional Energy specialists surveyed were confident that the appeal of these projects is sufficient to inspire young professionals to work in this field. That said, 90 percent of experts also believed that Conventional Energy companies should do more to attract young and well-educated talent. 

Digital Transformation: A Mixed Blessing

While the general consensus is that technological trends deserve greater attention, only about half of the respondent experts in Conventional Energy are satisfied with development opportunities around automation. This is an insight that the industry has so far failed to identify as a genuine challenge. While 80 percent of employees in the sector believe that digital transformation can contribute to a more sustainable industry, 50 percent fear that artificial intelligence and automation could restrict their career opportunities.

Survey methodology:

The 529 respondents who took part in the Conventional Energy Report come from all over the world. The majority are between the ages of 25 and 40. They predominantly hold management positions or work as operational specialists in salaried employment.
The same applies to the 805 participants of the Renewables study that was commissioned by Brunel and Taylor Hopkinson | Powered by Brunel, almost a quarter of whom are from the USA and just under 10 percent from the UK.

Go here to request the complete Trend Reports from the "Fact to the Future" series:

About Brunel

Brunel is a global specialist delivering customised project and workforce solutions to drive sustainable industry transformations through technology and talent. With 120+ offices and a powerful network of more than 12,000 specialists around the world, we deliver Project and Consulting Solutions, Workforce Solutions and Global Mobility Solutions that transform global projects in Renewables, Conventional Energy, Mining, Life Sciences, Future Mobility, Industrials & Technology and many other sectors. To accelerate the position in renewable energy, Brunel joined forces with Taylor Hopkinson, a trusted recruitment partner to the industry’s leaders.
Incorporated in 1975, Brunel has since become a global company with over 12,000 employees and annual revenue of EUR 1.3 billion (2023). The company is listed at Euronext Amsterdam N.V. For more information on Brunel, visit our website



Linda Böke
Global External Communications Specialist
Brunel International N.V.