More than a million new green jobs could be on offer as the economy moves towards a net zero future following the Covid-19 crisis, a major new report has revealed.
The Local Government Association (LGA) report called “Local green jobs – accelerating a sustainable economic recovery”, noted that nearly 700,000 direct jobs could be created by 2030, which could increase to more than 1.18m by 2050.
The LGA says it will be vital for the government to work with councils to look at recovery options, including proposals for a jobs guarantee program. It also stressed the importance of devolving national skills and employment schemes to
councils and combined authorities so they can work alongside businesses and education providers to train adults and young people.
Demand for green jobs – including in the low-carbon sector – will soar according to the report, helping to counter the job losses due to the pandemic.
The report predicts that nearly half 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.
It also predicts that around a fifth of jobs will be involved in installing energy efficiency products by 2030.
Councils will require local control over skills and employment support, with increased investment to create and secure jobs for young people and adults.
The LGA says this local approach should be extended to skills training and building the skills of local workforces. Its proposals would see councils and combined authorities working with partners to integrate and devolve employment, apprenticeships and skills initiatives.
The rise in green jobs will require a diverse range of skills and expertise to roll-out clean technologies.
Cllr Sir Richard Leese, chair of the LGA’s City Regions Board, said councils are driving the climate change agenda at a local level which is beginning to influence local economic growth plans and skills programs.
He said: “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.
“Localizing 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.
“To help meet national climate change targets and capitalize 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.”