THE UK’s underwater engineering industry is set to recruit 9,000 new workers over the next three years, the majority of which will be in Scotland.

Subsea UK, the industry body, unveiled the findings of its sector review ahead of its flagship annual event, Subsea Expo, in Aberdeen next week.

The review found that while employment figures remain fairly static, rising from 45,033 in 2017 to 45,163, the forecasts for recruitment are more promising.

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Almost 80 per cent of companies anticipate ramping up employment. Most of the new jobs will be in north-east Scotland, where 63% of the industry is based.

The total value of UK subsea output increased in 2018/19 to almost £7.8 billion from £7.5bn in 2017. It found renewables revenues rose from £1.3bn in 2017 to £1.8bn.

Around 80% of large subsea companies are predicting growth in renewables.

Since its 2003 inception the review recorded growth until peak output of £9bn in 2013, supporting 53,000 jobs.

The decline came with the collapse in oil price, and major projects were deferred or cancelled.

Neil Gordon, chief executive of Subsea UK, said the last five years “have taken their toll”, but added “the findings reveal that the UK subsea industry has weathered the storm”.

“The decline has been arrested with a clear upturn in activity, largely due to an increase in output from subsea SMEs and more activity in renewables, particularly offshore wind.”