Scotland has become the 'poor relation' of the UK over the green job bonanza with employment per £1m of turnover at its lowest level since records began.

The Scottish Trades Union Congress has raised its concerns as analysis of official estimates showed Scotland produced two jobs per £1m of turnover in 2022 - the lowest level since official estimates began in 2014 when it was at around four jobs per £1m.

But across the UK, the low carbon and renewable energy sector was producing four jobs per £1m of turnover in 2022 - and has in recently years been consistently higher than Scotland.

Meanwhile, Scotland's green economy balance of trade, measured by exports minus imports, has widened for the first time since 2018.

This is the largest gap since the records began, increasing from £35m in 2021 to £407m in 2022.

The STUC has said Scotland has been left flailing behind in job creation for offshore and onshore wind.

READ MORE: Ministers halt 'scandal' of Scots wind farm foreign labour

It has raised concerns about the growing gap between turnover and employment in offshore and onshore wind saying it is a “a damning indictment of the lack of Scottish Government industrial strategy”.

It was previously revealed that jobs in the low carbon and renewable energy sector (LCRE) on Scotland had dropped by 13% in the year from 29,700 to 25,700 - while turnover has soared by 47% from £8.853bn to £12.992bn.

And Scottish jobs in offshore wind fell from 3200 in 2021 to 3100 in 2022 - as concerns grew about the scandal of cheap foreign labour replacing British workers to serve Scotland's green revolution.

The STUC is concerned that despite income made by companies in the wind sector rocketing, the number of jobs in Scotland in both sectors has fallen.

STUC general secretary Roz Foyer, said: "It is unforgiveable for the Scottish Government to stick with their passive, ‘winner takes all’ approach, allowing energy companies continue to rake in billions whilst jobs and workers suffer."

The Herald: Roz Foyer, general secretary of the STUC, pictured at the STUC's new offices in Bridgeton, Glasgow...Photograph by Colin Mearns.22 Jan 2022.For Herald on Sunday.

Its new Mind the Gap analysis based on Office for National Statistics estimates highlights the importance of building a domestic renewables manufacturing base to ensure the "greatest possible employment and economic benefit from increases in renewable energy generation, particularly offshore wind."

It says that the trajectory of employment in relation to turnover seen in wind is the consequence of "years of inadequate planning, conditionality, and investment to support manufacturing and fabrication capacity across Scotland".

It said: This has led to the trade deficits seen across the LCRE economy, as the bulk of investment in offshore wind farms is sent overseas and components imported."

Over ten years ago the Scottish Government were championing the desire to be the green energy capital of Europe with around 28,000 jobs in offshore wind alone.

The Herald on Sunday revealed how British based workers planned a mutiny as protests erupted over cheap foreign labour replacing them.

It was made aware of UK-based staff having contracts terminated following the extension of the Offshore Wind Workers Concession (OWWC) rules which allows the employment of cheaper foreign nationals on offshore wind projects.

After former justice secretary now East Lothian MP and Alba Party deputy leader Kenny MacAskill led a fight to halt the foreign worker concessions - the UK Government finally closed the scheme last year.

The Herald: Kenny MacAskill

Ms Foyer added:"Despite the Scottish Government heralding their investment in onshore and offshore wind, we are now the poor relation of the UK for jobs and employment.

“Without a robust and comprehensive industrial strategy, one that places strict conditions on companies developing offshore and onshore wind to address the widening gap between turnover and employment, the Scottish Government is dooming its energy strategy to failure before it’s even published.

READ MORE: Staff in Scots mutiny plot as green jobs lost to cheap foreign labour

“Government ministers must use the power of our public sector to turbo-boost our green economy, utilising public ownership of projects at both local and national level, creating jobs and employment with good terms and conditions at its core. We cannot risk failing another generation and more communities with false energy promises.

"The Scottish Government would do well to heed the call of our recommendations. They must, without delay, prioritise public ownership of our renewable projects and create decent jobs for all throughout Scotland’s low-carbon economy. Workers deserve nothing less."

The ONS estimates found that total income generated by offshore wind companies, had risen by £1.673bn (66%) in a year to £4.206bn for offshore wind and £1.812bn (82%) to £4.009bn for onshore. But the number of jobs fell by 3% for offshore and by 400 (11%) for onshore.

Scottish Renewables, the trade body, said a recent report from Scottish Renewables and the Fraser of Allander Institute showed Scotland’s renewable energy industry and its supply chain supported more than 42,000 jobs and over £10.1 billion of output in 2021.

It has continued to questioned the veracity of the ONS numbers saying that it highlights "considerable uncertainty in its estimates".

And it further questioned the methodology used to compare jobs to turnover and wanted to see the approach verified by a respected data analyst before it commented further.

In 2010, a Scottish Government report suggested the offshore wind sector alone could offer the potential for 28,000 direct jobs.

Twelve years ago, the potential wind and marine energy power in the Pentland Firth - where the north-east Atlantic meets the North Sea – led the then First Minister Alex Salmond to dub it the "Saudi Arabia of Renewables" with Scottish firm BiFab at the time making turbines for offshore wind farms.

In November, 2010, Mr Salmond, first announced a £70m investment fund to finance the offshore wind sector.

He said by 2020, 28,000 jobs could be created directly servicing domestic and worldwide offshore wind markets and add £7.1 billion in value to Scotland's economy.

The Herald: Alex Salmond

Opening the Scottish Low Carbon Investment conference in Edinburgh, he urged private finance leaders to seize the multi-billion pound opportunities arising from the renewable and low carbon technology revolution.

The controversial Offshore Wind Workers Concession (OWWC) which allows the employment of cheaper foreign nationals on wind projects closed at the end of April.

Unions had been fighting the OWWC which allows companies to skip the usual post-Brexit immigration restrictions and employ foreign nationals to join vessels engaged in the construction and maintenance of offshore wind farms.

It has previously been revealed that foreign governments including China and overseas firms with interests in Scotland’s offshore wind farm revolution were enjoying more than £200m in annual profits.

Ministers been under fire for failing to properly cash in on seven farms that were operating and three major schemes that are in advanced stages of development which together according to energy firms will have 5GW of installed capacity - enough to power double the 2.7m homes in Scotland.

There has been concern that governments in China and the United Arab Emirates which have presided over human rights concerns are among the beneficiaries of Scotland’s green revolution.

Campaigners have long called for the establishment of a state-owned company which would have owned energy resources, to provide secure, reliable and low-cost retail energy to households and to ensure there were renewable energy supply chain and manufacturing jobs for Scotland.

It is felt by some that the failure to create a state-owned energy company has meant that the nation has lost its grip of the profits of Scotland's green revolution.

The Herald:

Claire Mack, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “Given the uncertainty in the estimates it wouldn’t be unexpected to see job numbers in the ONS data fluctuate year to year, however, what is clear is that Scotland’s renewable energy industry already provides significant employment opportunities and drives economic growth across Scotland.

“While the ONS figures suggest there is a slight reduction in the number of renewable energy and low carbon jobs in Scotland between 2021 and 2022, the report also highlights that there is considerable uncertainty in its estimates.

"Given that turnover has increased by almost 50% over the same period, this is a minimal reduction in jobs which falls within the survey’s margin of error rather than being an accurate reflection of real-world economic activity.

“While our members continue to focus on delivering the projects we will need to meet our climate ambitions, as an industry we want to clearly demonstrate how we are benefiting not only Scotland’s but the UK’s economies as we transition to a net-zero future.

“To do this we urgently need much more robust data collection to understand how the renewable energy industry is performing and evolving across the UK.

“The UK and Scottish Governments urgently need to enable better data to be collected on the renewable energy sector that will support transparency and accountability as our industry moves towards reaching its economic and environmental targets as part of the energy transition.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said:“It is widely accepted that offshore wind represents a significant opportunity to create thousands of good Scottish green jobs – independent sources have consistently ranked Scotland as the best performing UK region for green job creation. The LCRE survey is based on a limited sample and the results are subject to a high degree of uncertainty and year-on-year unpredictability.

“We want to ensure a just transition that takes our existing skilled workforce and supply chain with us, which is why we are investing up to £500 million to anchor our offshore wind supply-chain in Scotland, acting as a catalyst for further private sector investment to ensure the Scottish workforce, businesses and communities all benefit from the offshore renewables revolution.”