From education to employment

Most workers back the move to a greener economy, but just one in four believe current plans will create many new jobs in their local area


NEW @The_TUC POLL: working people want more government action on climate change, more green jobs created and more help to re-train for those jobs

Workers back climate action and support the move to a greener economy, but only a quarter (25 per cent) believe that the government’s current plans for climate action will create many new jobs in their local area, according to research published today (Friday) by the TUC.  

The TUC’s poll is published ahead of the forthcoming release of official ONS statistics on jobs in the UK’s green industries next week (Thursday 17 February).  

Workers back climate action  

The research found the vast majority (86 per cent) of workers support the UK moving to a greener economy to tackle climate change, with even greater support among younger workers.   

But only a quarter of workers (26 per cent) agree that the government is doing enough to move the UK to a green economy, compared with four in ten (40 per cent) who believe ministers are not doing enough.  

Most workers (78 per cent) agree that the government should invest in retraining and re-skilling workers for a greener economy, with just three per cent disagreeing. 

Workers want a say on climate action in their workplace   

Two in three workers (65 per cent) say it is important that their employer is actively helping to tackle climate change. But only one in three (33 per cent) say that their employer has put measures in place in the workplace to help tackle climate change. 

Most workers (71 per cent ) believe employers should consult their workers about how their company’s operations need to change as part of the move to a greener economy. But only one in eight (13 per cent) has been given the opportunity to share ideas on how to tackle climate change. And this drops to one in ten (ten per cent) of workers earning less than £29,000.  

The TUC is calling on the government and employers to get on with climate action – and make sure it delivers more good jobs.  The TUC has shown how investing £85 billion to upgrade our homes, infrastructure, and industry for a green future could deliver1.24 million good green jobs. And employers must cooperate with their workforces and unions on how each business and sector changes their operations to deal with the impact of climate change.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:   

“Every job should be a good job, with a decent wage. Changing our economy and society to deal with climate change gives us the chance to create millions of new good green jobs.  

“Workers are ready. They know this has to happen. But ministers are doing nowhere near enough to create good new jobs and future proof the industries that are delivering good jobs now.

“Across the country workers and unions are coming together to innovate and create worker-led decarbonisation plans. Ministers and employers need to get with the programme – and deliver the just transition we all need.”    

Workers at Rolls Royce’s factories in Inchinnan (Scotland), Ansty, and Barnoldswick (England), represented by Unite the Union, secured a Green New Deal agreement with their employer including a centre of excellence for zero-carbon technologies.

Community steel workers at Tata Steel in Wales are working with experts at Swansea University and the Materials Processing Institute to develop solutions in steel decarbonisation, while upskilling the workforce for green steel production. In more detail:

TUC research published in 2021 estimates that the future of 660 thousand UK manufacturing and supply chain jobs depends on government action to meet climate targets and protect industries against offshoring: 

Methodology: The BritainThinks online survey was conducted in May 2021 with a sample of 2,128 workers in England and Wales – nationally representative according to ONS Labour Force Survey Data.

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