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Green Jobs Taskforce: “Every job in the UK has the potential to be green”

Every UK job has the potential to be green, according to a new independent, expert report published today (Wednesday 14 July) by the Green Jobs Taskforce.

Convened by ministers from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Department for Education (DfE), the Taskforce is made up of members from industry, trade unions, the skills sector, including ECCI director Prof Dave Reay.

The report represents a call to arms for government, industry and the education sector with a focus across the full green jobs life cycle – from building new net zero industries, pathways into green careers for people from all backgrounds, and supporting those working in high carbon industries to reapply their skills for the net zero transition.

Findings and recommendations

The Taskforce has published its findings and recommendations on how the UK Government, industry and skills sector can best deliver the green jobs and skills of the future.

The report assesses how the UK jobs market and the skills sector should adapt to support net zero, from training engineers and construction workers who are building the UK’s world-renowned offshore wind farms and nuclear plants, to the retrofitters who will make homes more comfortable and energy efficient, and car mechanics servicing electric vehicles and vans.

Recommendations include:

  • Publishing a detailed Net Zero Strategy and using policy to promote good green jobs, skills and competitive supply chains;
  • Industry, the education sector and the UK Government working together to ensure green careers advice and pathways into good green jobs;
  • Building on the UK Government’s skills reforms to support people to work in the new green economy
“Every job in the UK has the potential to be green” - Green Jobs Taskforce

The conclusion reached by the Taskforce’s assessment of the evidence is that, if the UK is to grasp the opportunities afforded by a green industrial revolution, we must develop a comprehensive and holistic view of the green jobs and skills challenge.

The opportunity for green jobs and skills should not be considered as niche, or restricted to certain sectors of the economy. Every job has the potential to become ‘green’ as the world moves to combat climate change, and there are a huge range of skills which will support the transition to a net zero economy.

UK Energy & 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.  “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. “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.”

ECCI director Prof Dave Reay said: "In this crucial year for climate action, and with the long shadow of Covid-19 still hanging over us all, this report and its recommendation couldn't be more timely. The UK's successful transition to net zero depends on every sector of our economy; every job of the future will be shaped by it and many thousands will be created by it.

"We now have a real opportunity to simultaneously deliver on our climate goals, supercharge a green recovery, and a realise a fairer and more inclusive future for the whole nation. To do this, our education and skills systems needs to be bang on point, green career pathways must be open for all, and investments need to be matched with local needs and opportunities right across the country.

"In navigating this perfect storm of climate emergency, nature crisis and global pandemic, these recommendations can be a bright green beacon to guide the way."

Next steps

The evidence collected by the Green Jobs Taskforce, and official recommendations, will now be considered by the Government, feeding into the development of Government’s ambitious Net Zero Strategy, due to be published ahead of the UN’s climate summit COP26 in Glasgow this November.

The Net Zero Strategy will clearly set out the Government’s path to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and meeting the UK Government’s targets to cut emissions and create new jobs and industries across the whole country.

ECCI and COP26

Find out how ECCI and the University of Edinburgh are invoved in the UN’s climate summit, COP26, in Glasgow this November.