The UK currently has 32.4m people employed, many in jobs that did not exist or were in their infancy a decade ago. With the UK’s commitments to reach net zero requiring a green re-industrialisation of the country and the growth of new, innovative industries and technologies, a range of new jobs, often described as ‘green jobs’, will be required. Green jobs are defined by the ONS as “economic activities that deliver goods and services which aid the UK in generation of lower emissions of greenhouse gases”. They encompass a broad range of professions from environmental scientist to solar panel installer to wind turbine engineer to fuels specialist.
It is estimated that 24m green jobs worldwide will be generated throughout the current decade. Currently, around 200,000 people in the UK are employed in sectors that assist the move towards net zero. 56,000 more green jobs have been created since November 2020. By 2030, the net zero strategy aims to support 440,00 new jobs.
In November 2020, the UK Government launched the Green Jobs Taskforce to kickstart awareness of the importance and opportunities of low carbon jobs. In a report also published 2020, a call for a clear plan to meet net zero was made to ensure that industries and educational facilities can adequately prepare and train people for green jobs. A focus was particularly placed on ensuring there was adequate availability for training and retraining workers to complete the installation of technologies such as heat pumps and building and installing batteries amongst other. There was also a call for the green jobs strategy to accommodate regional specifics such as coastal regions requiring more available training for jobs in the offshore wind industry.
The importance of building vibrant investment and training programmes for green jobs has been highlighted at COP26, particularly at the “So, You Want a Green Job” panel run by the Princes Trust, a global network of charities that support young people into education and education. In partnership with the Department for Education.