Report shows that more than 18,000 people are employed in full-time jobs in the wind, wave and tidal energy sector

More than 18,000 full-time staff currently work in Britain's wind, wave and tidal energy sector, according to a report.

And a further 16,000 people are in work as an indirect result of the green energy sector, employed by companies that provide products and services to the industry, the report by trade body RenewableUK said.

There has been a 74% jump in the number of workers employed in the environmentally-friendly energy industries since 2010 when RenewableUK first carried out its "working for a green Britain and Northern Ireland" research paper.

Back in 2010, 3,151 people worked in the offshore wind industry. This year, more than double that figure - 6,830 - now have offshore wind sector jobs.

In total, the sector supports more than 34,300 jobs in Britain, employing 18,465 people directly and 15,908 indirectly.

These include jobs in construction and installation, planning and development, support services, operations and maintenance and manufacturing.

The report says that, with the right support, the industry could grow by a further 70,000 jobs over the next 10 years, with nearly half of these being in offshore wind.

When broken down, the figures reveal that 91% of those employed in the sector are citizens of the United Kingdom. One in five workers are female, which is a lower proportion than in technical and professional occupations but higher than the overall power sector.

They also reveal that the renewable power sectors rely upon small and medium sized businesses. For instance, 80% of businesses in the wind, wave and tidal industries have fewer than 250 people on their wage books and 56% employ no more than 25 staff.

Maria McCaffery, chief executive of RenewableUK, said: "Today's report clearly demonstrates how the wind, wave and tidal industries are creating jobs and growth for the economy.

"There are tens of thousands of people employed in skilled jobs the length and breadth of the country building a world-leading industry in the UK and providing clean, reliable energy."

She added: "If the UK gets this right, our wind, wave and tidal industries could employ more than 70,000 people over the next decade.

Copyright Press Association 2013