Energy Minister Greg Hands recently co-chaired the inaugural meeting of the country’s first ever dedicated group for creating UK green job opportunities.
The Green Jobs Delivery Group will support the delivery of up to 480,000 skilled green jobs by 2030 that will be created and supported thanks to Government policies set out in the Prime Minister’s Energy Security Strategy and Net Zero Strategy.
The UK’s green industrial revolution is a key part in the Government’s plan for growing the economy and creating high-skilled, high-wage jobs across the country.
The Group will help ensure the UK has the skilled workforce it needs to build clean industries in our industrial heartlands and transition to cheaper renewables in the face of rising fossil fuel prices. It will also ensure that workers, businesses and local areas are supported throughout the transition in eliminating the UK’s contribution to climate change by 2050.
The Group is co-chaired with E.ON UK Chief Executive, Michael Lewis, and comprises representatives from the worlds of business, industry, trade unions and academia.
The Government’s support for the UK’s green industrial revolution will help unlock up to £100 billion of private investment by 2030, by which point 95% of electricity could be low carbon. It means the UK will need a lot more skilled workers to build things like electric vehicles (EVs), manufacture and install heat pumps, hydrogen boilers, wind turbines and solar panels, as well as insulate British homes and buildings.
Nearly 68,000 green jobs across the UK economy have already been created and supported or are in the pipeline since the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan in November 2020 – including in electric vehicle manufacturing in Sunderland, hydrogen facilities in Teesside, and offshore wind in Northumberland, Yorkshire and Humber.
The Delivery Group will look at ways of ensuring all sectors of the economy and parts of the country can benefit from the green transition.
Chair of the Delivery Group and Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, Greg Hands, said: “We will need tens of thousands of skilled workers for our clean transition and to boost energy security; and well-paid green jobs will help with the cost of living. Spreading opportunity by levelling up all parts of the country.
“The UK’s most important asset is its workforce. Our new Delivery Group will help us ensure employers have the know-how and employees the skills to drive our transition to becoming the world’s leading green economy.”
Co-Chair of the Delivery Group and CEO of E.ON UK, Michael Lewis, said: “Our economy is on an historic journey towards becoming more environmentally friendly than ever. Our green transition is affecting every single sector and we need to ensure green jobs are open to everyone.
“The UK needs a future pipeline of talent to power it towards net zero and this Delivery Group will ensure industry and government work together, so we have the diverse, skilled and resilient workforce needed for the future.”
Over the last three decades, the UK has achieved record clean growth, with emissions tumbling by 44% – faster than any G7 nation – while the economy has grown by almost 80%. There are already over 430,000 jobs in low-carbon businesses and their supply chains across the country.
The government’s recent British Energy Security Strategy set out how Great Britain will accelerate the transition to renewables, supporting an extra 40,000 green jobs. Key ambitions include:
- a significant acceleration of nuclear, including flexible Small Modular Reactors, delivering up to 8 more reactors across the next series of projects
- a fivefold increase in our offshore wind capacity to up to 50GW by 2030
- a doubling of up to 10GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030, helping power industry and transport
- increasing the UK’s 14GW of solar capacity fivefold by 2035.
Chief Operating Officer of Make UK, Ben Fletcher, said: “Manufacturers are leading the charge in the green revolution to our Net-Zero target and ensuring that they can meet their skills need will be crucial to our economic success.
“We are pleased to join the Green Job Delivery Group which can collectively deliver the growing demand for green skills now and in the future.”
The Delivery Group follows a recommendation by the Green Jobs Taskforce, which concluded that every job has the potential to be green, and meets a commitment in the Government’s Net Zero Strategy.
The UK government has already rolled out a range of initiatives and skills programmes to build low carbon industries across the country. This includes:
- working with employers to boost green apprenticeship opportunities
- free adult skills training for those without qualifications or any adult in England earning under the National Living Wage annually (£18,525) or is unemployed
- free adult skills training for those without qualifications
- green skills bootcamps – providing free, flexible training courses for adults with a fast-track interview with local employers in companies retrofitting homes, installing solar power or developing greener transport.
Britishvolt’s Chief Communications Officer, Ben Kilbey, said: “The next industrial revolution, the transition to renewable energy from burning fossil fuels, is one of the biggest employment opportunities we have faced, globally. Too much of the media is focused on a dearth of skills, or a shortage of skilled workers, however that should be seen as an opportunity not a threat.
“At Britishvolt we have created the BV FutureGen Foundation to, as our good friend from WMG Dr. Benjamin Silverstone says, ‘upskill, reskill and new-skill’ people ready for the transition. People can embrace learning new skills and walk away equipped for the next generation of employment.
“With challenges come opportunities, and then solutions. Batteries are a solution to the energy crisis, just as retraining is a solution to a shortage of skilled workers. We are also working with academia to create apprenticeships to ensure the country is at the very vanguard of the energy transition. The status quo is no longer sustainable.”
Image: UK Govt