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New UK Government taskforce targets two million green jobs

The UK Government has announced a new Green Jobs Taskforce that will support the creation of two million skilled jobs to build back greener and reach net zero emissions by 2050.

We’ve written extensively about how eager the UK Government is to use the green revolution to prop up the economy, and now we’re getting firm action. Already money has been pouring in for the so-called ‘green revolution’, with the Government issuing bonds to fund an overhaul of the UK’s infrastructure. This taskforce will ensure that there are skilled jobs available to actually get the UK on the road to net zero.

Dubbed the Green Jobs Taskforce, this new body will aim to create two million green jobs by 2030. It will be chaired by Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng and Skills Minister Gillian Keegan who have both been tasked with transitioning the UK to a high-skill, low carbon economy. 

The key goals of the taskforce include: 

  • Ensuring we have the immediate skills needed for building back greener, such as in offshore wind and home retrofitting.
  • Developing a long-term plan that charts out the skills needed to help deliver a net zero economy.
  • Ensuring good quality green jobs and a diverse workforce.
  • Supporting workers in high carbon transitioning sectors, like oil and gas, to retrain in new green technologies.

Kwarteng commented, “This government has promised to do all it can to provide good quality, secure work as we build back better and greener from coronavirus.

“The Green Jobs Taskforce will oversee the UK taking strides towards long-term economic prosperity, as well as transitioning to the new low-carbon green industries of the future.”

The Green Jobs Taskforce met for the first time on November 12 and will represent the views of businesses, employees and the skills sectors and includes representatives from the following companies and trade bodies: 

  • Sarah Beale, CEO, Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)
  • Russell Smith, Director, Retrofit Works
  • Nick Molho, CEO, Aldersgate Group
  • Professor Dave Reay, Chair in Carbon Management & Education, School of Geosciences, Edinburgh University
  • Rhian Kelly, UK Corporate Affairs Director, National Grid
  • Jane Cooper, Head of Stakeholder Relations & Regulatory Affairs for Ørsted, Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB)
  • Yvonne Kelly, Principal and CEO, East London Institute of Technology
  • Peter Stephens, Head of UK External & Government Affairs, Nissan
  • Tor Farquhar, Tata Steel
  • Simon Ashley, SVP people and culture, BP
  • Paul Nowak, Deputy General Secretary, TUC
  • Alan Goundry, Head of the Energy Academy, Newcastle College Energy Academy
  • Andy George, Head of Talent Management, Barratt Developments
  • Sharon Lane, Managing Director Tees Components, Tees Valley LEP
  • Sue Ferns, Deputy General Secretary, Prospect
  • Angela Francis, Chief Advisor on Economics and Economic Development, World Wide Fund for Nature
  • Afsheen Rashid Kabir MBE, Co-founder and CEO, Repowering

During its regular meetings it will assess how the UK jobs market and the skills sector will adapt to support net zero, developing ideas and solutions for how the UK can deliver the green jobs of the future. The taskforce will create an action plan to inform on what support is needed for people in transitioning industries.

Keegan added, “It is now more critical than ever to make sure people get the skills they need to progress and that will help our economy to recover.

“I am very much looking forward to co-chairing this important taskforce so we can create more, high quality green job opportunities, levelling up our economy and delivering on our commitment to be net zero by 2050.”

The taskforce will be crucial to ensuring that the UK’s unemployment rate drops following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy and forms a key part of Boris Johnson’s ‘build back better’ pledge.

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