I hope you are keeping well and that you find the following update useful.

As I write this, we find ourselves back in lockdown due to the second wave of this seemingly never-ending Coronavirus pandemic.  We also only have seven weeks to go until the Brexit deadline and still no clarity on what the terms will be.  These have been and are worrying times for people on so many levels and there is plenty to be concerned about but hopefully it is not all doom and gloom.

In the past few days we have received positive news regarding a potential viable vaccine which we could see being rolled out before Christmas and seen the emergence of a new president in the US and the back of Trump.

It is evident that since March many people and companies including ourselves have experienced a bumpy ride.  After the initial shock waves and disruption to the global and UK economy caused by the pandemic, things did begin to settle down again.  There has of course been a significant number of redundancies and companies that needed to restructure to stay afloat. Plenty of companies have used the furlough scheme to ease the burden on cash flow.  Workloads were down and or at least fluctuating.  Momentum picked back up from early summer for a lot of firms.  Construction being allowed to continue being a vital factor in helping the industry to ride the storm.

In my role I have daily conversations with people across my network about how they have been faring and their thoughts on what lies ahead.

Here is what I am seeing out there in the market which I hope you may find useful.

Workloads

·                     Due to movements like Extinction rebellion and of course the continued work by Sir David Attenborough, the Environmental and Sustainability agenda is gaining a lot more traction and making its way regularly into the boardroom. This raised awareness is increasing workloads for the sector.
·                     The ‘build back better’ mantra includes a real emphasis on improved Environmental, Social and Sustainability issues creating more opportunities.
·                     The longevity of large infrastructure projects such as energy, water, rail, and highways schemes will keep large swathes of the industry busy for the next few years.
·                     The Renewable Sector is bouncing back with particular focus on Off-Shore Wind, Solar and Hydrogen power.
·                     House building remains extremely busy with many firms seeing record levels of instructions. This is set to continue.
·                     Sectors of the industry that are growing the most include ESG, Climate Change, ESIA, Ecology and Energy.
·                     2021 should see a further improved outlook across the sector, with most clients predicting steady growth/recovery.

Employment Opportunities

·                     Many of the smaller firms have been able to adapt to changes quickly and been able to capitalise on valuable talent coming onto the market.  They are continuing to hire and will be the stronger for it.
·                     There has been an increase in people choosing to go freelance which should ultimately create more opportunities for others to follow suit as the freelance model becomes more widely accepted.
·                     Employers should be more open to basing roles anywhere in the country with more flexibility around home working. This will enable a bigger and better pool of candidates for firms.
·                     Top talent remains in high demand with stiff competition between firms to secure the best people.

General

·         Firms have adapted well to staff working remotely, with productivity levels seemingly not being affected.  There is widespread belief that companies will be a lot more accepting of flexible working moving forward
·         There is fatigue creeping in from homeworking and most of us are keen to be physically working alongside colleagues again at least some of the time.  Video has its place, but nothing replaces genuine face-to-face interaction.
·         Staff’s mental health and wellbeing has moved much higher up the agenda and is far more accepted in the workplace without the stigma it once had.

Conclusion

Amongst all the turmoil there is a definite growing focus on the Environmental and Sustainability agenda which is resulting in increased workloads.  There is a clear sense that the market is keen to get going again and recover the time lost.  Despite the gloom in the news, firms have adjusted to new norms and have adapted their businesses to continue to develop and grow.  Taking everything into account, the majority of the Environmental, Sustainable and Green Energy sector remains strong and there seems to be genuine grounds for optimism moving forward.  The Environmental and Sustainability market is set to keep growing and continues to be an exciting and rewarding career path for both existing industry professionals and those coming into the sector.<