Two million jobs need reskilling as part of green recovery

A coalition of mayors and council leaders is calling on the Chancellor to commit to a ‘New Deal for Green Skills and Growth’ in his forthcoming stimulus package.

The group of 24 Mayors and local leaders, representing 25 million people across the country have established a new ‘Resilient Recovery’ Taskforce, seeking, alongside a ‘New Deal for Green Skills and Growth’, a major push on infrastructure investment, public transport and retrofitting homes.

The call is in response to new research being published by UK100, a network of over 100 local leaders, which shows that 2,177,601 jobs, representing one in 10, will need reskilling in the economy, while 1,849,686 will be more in demand from employers based on existing skills.

On average, each parliamentary constituency has 4,097 jobs that need reskilling - with the largest number in the Cities of London & Westminster, where over 102,000 jobs are potentially impacted.

The UK100 analysis of figures show that in total 4,027,287 jobs (one in five) in England will have an impact by the shift toward a low carbon economy, 7,582 in each parliamentary constituency. The New Deal for Green Skills and Growth would provide the necessary skills and training to enable workers to adapt to the transition to Net Zero by 2050.

A number of areas, groups and sectors are particularly in need of additional support from a Green Recovery. This includes: cities with BAME communities; manufacturing heartlands, such as in the Midlands, North West and Yorkshire; and real estate, transportation and the mining sector.

Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council and Chair of the UK100 Resilient Recovery Task Force, said: “The government has a once in a generation opportunity to stimulate a green economic recovery to allow the UK to meet our Net Zero target by 2050. The chancellor’s stimulus package must include measures to replace lost jobs with green jobs, re-train workers so they can access these jobs and power the new green economy both Leeds and the UK need.”  

Polly Billington, director of UK100, said: “We need to ensure this is not a car or carbon-led recovery. There is a huge opportunity here to skill up our workforce and invest in the jobs we need right now. A New Deal for Green skills and Growth will kick start the recovery, ensure we are internationally competitive and put us on a path to a cleaner, greener economy, so we can meet the Net Zero target.”

Steve Count, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, and chair of the newly launched Countryside Climate Network, said: “This clear evidence shows us the challenges of environmental change, however Cambridgeshire, as a key exporter nationally and internationally of advanced cleantech, would add its voice to calls for additional resource and focus on the need to upskill those in industries most at risk. We are not alone in having well established green sector employment opportunities which are crying out for these skills, and are simply looking for the green light to develop and expand.”

The UK100 Resilient Recovery Taskforce includes the mayors and leaders of Bath and North East Somerset, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, Camden, Cornwall, Kent, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool City Region, London, Greater Manchester, Manchester City, Newcastle, North of the Tyne, Nottingham, Oxford, Sheffield, Sheffield City Region, Southampton, the West Midlands and the West of England.