Local governments predict green jobs bonanza

More than a million green jobs could be created in England over the next few decades as the country transitions to net-zero emissions, the Local Government Association (LGA) has predicted.

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In a report published today, the LGA said that nearly 700,000 direct jobs could be created in the low-carbon and renewable energy economy by 2030, rising to more than 1.18 million by 2050.

This new green jobs bonanza – across every region in England – will help counter unprecedented job losses suffered due to coronavirus, according to the report, but the input of local councils will be key.

The LGA is calling on the government to work with councils to develop post-COVID-19 economic recovery options, including a jobs guarantee programme, and for national employment schemes and funding to be devolved to councils and combined authorities.

“Councils are driving the climate change agenda at a local level, through ambitious projects and targets, which is beginning to influence local economic growth plans and skills programmes,” said Sir Richard Leese, chair of the LGA’s City Regions Board.

“Demand for green jobs is due to sky-rocket as we move towards a net-zero economy and local government, with its local knowledge and expertise, is best-placed to ensure the workforce in every region of the country can successfully surf the new wave of employment opportunities.”

The report highlights how councils are leading local efforts to trace coronavirus while providing billions in financial support to businesses, and explains how this trust should be extended to skills training to help project where and when jobs are created.

“Local areas need to be able match skills supply and demand through effective local targeting by giving councils and combined authorities the ability to work with local education providers and businesses,” the LGA said.

The report predicts that 46% of an estimated 693,628 total low-carbon jobs by 2030 will be in clean electricity generation and providing low-carbon heat for homes and businesses.

Around 21% will be involved in installing energy efficiency products, 19% will be providing low-carbon services and producing alternative fuels, while 14% will be directly involved in manufacturing low-emission vehicles and the associated infrastructure.

The LGA urged the government to improve uncoordinated and limited funding streams by engaging with councils to understand how new funding for skills can be devolved to better meet and respond to local needs.

“Localising and devolving skills investment, back to work support and any job guarantee will be critical to ensuring everyone benefits from new local jobs, including these one million new low-carbon jobs," Sir Richard continued.

“To help meet national climate change targets and capitalise on the green jobs revolution, councils need to be given long-term funding, devolved powers and easier access to complex government funding pots to help realise the government’s target of being carbon neutral by 2050.”

 

Image credit: iStock

Author: 

Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM

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