A recent report released by the Environmental Audit Committee emphasises the need for the UK workforce to level up in ‘green skills’ as the eco-friendly demands of the future economy emerge.
Noting the Government’s goal to have 2 million green jobs by 2030, a report written by the Environmental Audit committee stresses that a detailed plan must be brought forward to map out how this is to be achieved.
Specifically, the report advises the Government to include the definition and metric for ‘green jobs’. This, it claims, will allow them to monitor and evaluate the impact of its policies against its ambitions going forward.
It further expresses that the number, type and location of these jobs should be recorded over the 2020s.
Expressing the need to tackle unemployment caused by the pandemic, the report suggests a focus on green jobs could help to accelerate the sector, build critical green skills and address difficulties caused by the crisis.
Only 1 per cent of the Kickstart scheme placements were in green sectors, the study highlighted, suggesting an alignment between future labour market interventions and the Government’s green strategy would be useful in the future.
Specifically, a National Nature Service which would entail an established training pipeline as well as offering training to the current workforce, bolstering climate and environmental literacy, were suggested as useful tools to build upon green skills.
The report further advised embedding environmental sustainability across all National Curriculum and A Level courses and adding a module on sustainability in every apprenticeship and T Level course.
Philip Dunne, the committee chairman, stated:
The workforce of the future is being undermined by a lack of evidence-based government policies on how jobs will be filled in green sectors.
Encouraging announcements of investment in green sectors of the economy are very welcome but the government admits that claims about green jobs lack explanation and data on how the targets will be achieved.
Kevin Bentley, the chairman of the Local Government Association’s people and places board, added:
Green skills need to be front and centre of our recovery from the pandemic, helping to level up our communities, build local government capacity and increase social mobility. Our analysis has shown that there could be as many as 700,000 local green jobs by 2030 rising to 1.1m by 2050, arising from the low-carbon and renewable energy economy.
Local government has a key role to play here, matching skills supply with industry demand over time, and ensuring all residents and wider local economies can benefit from new employment opportunities.
This report comes as other studies showed that Green jobs need to be created at 25 times the current rate if the Government is to meet its target of 440,000 new jobs in green industries by 2030.
*This research has been outlined in the House of Commons: Environmental Audit Committee – Green Jobs report, published in October 2021.