The independent Green Jobs Taskforce has issued a call to action to support the ambition to create two million skilled jobs by 2030.
Convened by the Business and Education departments in November 2020, the Taskforce has released a new report detailing a number of recommendations for the UK government, industry and skills sector to ensure a green industrial revolution is delivered.
This includes publishing a detailed Net Zero Strategy, as well as using policy to promote good green jobs, skills and competitive supply chains. Industry along with the education sector and the government should work together to provide green careers advice and pathways into green jobs, including promoting diversity within emerging low carbon sectors.
Additionally, the government should build on existing skills reforms to support people to work in the new green economy. This should include work to ensure a just transition for those in high carbon sectors currently.
A holistic approach will be needed, which takes into account the lifecycle of green jobs in the UK to grasp all opportunities, said the Taskforce.
The report has been welcomed by the UK government, pointing to the prediction that the Ten Point Plan will support up to 90,000 highly-skilled green jobs within this parliament and up to 250,000 by 2030.
UK Energy & Climate Change Minister and co-chair of the Green Jobs Taskforce Anne-Marie Trevelyan said as we tackle climate change we need to invest in “the UK’s most important asset – its workforce – so that our people have the right skills to deliver a green industrial revolution and thrive in the jobs it will create.
“That’s why today we have welcomed the recommendations put forward by the Green Jobs Taskforce, which are a big step forward in delivering the skilled workers and green jobs essential for the UK’s transition to net zero.”
The Green Jobs Taskforce argues that every job has the potential to be a green job going forwards. There are already over 410,000 jobs in low carbon businesses and supply chains across the UK, with an estimated turnover of £42.6 billion in 2019.
It follows a report from the European Climate Foundation, written by EY, published last week that found the UK has a pipeline of 540 green energy projects, which could add 43GW of generation capacity and create more than 430,000 clean jobs. This would mitigate 90% of job losses caused by COVID-19.
Already in Scotland alone the green energy sector currently supports 22,660 jobs, a report from the University of Strathclyde found in June.
The TUC union also welcomed the Taskforce’s recommendations with deputy general secretary Paul Nowak saying “new jobs in new industries are only part of it. The UK also needs to protect existing workers in industries that are going to change by giving workers and their unions a voice in how we make those jobs part of our net zero future.
“The government should read this report carefully – and implement it in full. It shows that net zero can be delivered alongside security and opportunity for working people.”
Currently the government is not endorsing the Green Jobs Taskforce’s recommendations, with a formal response set to come within the Net Zero Strategy that will be published ahead of the COP26 summit in November.