Direct new 'green revolution' jobs to areas with unemployment risk, Government told

14 July 2021, 00:08

A taskforce has made 15 recommendations over the new green jobs plan
A taskforce has made 15 recommendations over the new green jobs plan. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

The Government should direct some of its planned two million green jobs towards areas at risk of unemployment, a taskforce has urged.

A total of 15 recommendations have been given to the Government as it looks to kickstart a new industrial revolution.

The green jobs taskforce said it should use a net zero policy to promote investment in good green jobs, skills and competitive supply chains.

Green recovery spending in the aftermath of the pandemic should be raised in line with other G7 countries and the Government should work with industry to get money into low carbon activities that have potential to quickly create jobs in areas at risk of unemployment, the group said.

It also called for support for people working in high carbon sectors so they can take advantage of green opportunities, and stressed the transition to net zero should be fair.

Workers should also get new training and upskilling to ensure employees are not left behind in the shift to a new green economy, the taskforce recommended.

It was set up in November, bringing industry, trade unions and the skills sector together to suggest ways the Government can make good on its ambition to create two million green jobs by 2030.

Energy and Climate Change Minister and co-chair of the Green Jobs Taskforce Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: "As we lead the world in tackling 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."

She added: "Its report, alongside our ambitious skills programmes, will be invaluable to us as we build a pathway into green careers for people from all backgrounds and ensuring that workers and communities dependent on the high-carbon economy are supported as we build back greener into a cleaner future."

The taskforce said every job could be green and called for the promotion of effective teaching about climate change, and subjects related to it, including science, technology and maths.

It said a detailed strategy for meeting targets to cut emissions by 78% by 2035 and 100% by 2050 – net zero – should be published before the UK hosts the UN Cop26 summit in Glasgow in November.

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This would give businesses, workers and education providers confidence to invest in the transition to a new green economy.

Union organisation TUC deputy general secretary Paul Nowak, who was a member of the taskforce, said: "Every part of the country needs good green jobs - jobs that help us get to net zero, with decent pay and conditions too, and jobs that you can build a life and a career on.

"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 plans to publish a net zero strategy ahea of Cop26 and said it is already taking action, including on green apprenticeships, green skills boot camps and free courses for jobs in sectors like agriculture and forestry.