From education to employment

Government is not doing enough to create new green jobs, TUC warns

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady

Official figures published today (Thursday) by the ONS show that there were 28,000 (12%) fewer jobs in zero-carbon energy and energy efficient industries than in 2014, despite the industries’ exports increasing by more than a third in the same period.  

ONS figures released today confirm that: 

  • Jobs in energy efficient products manufacturing are down by 32,000, or more than a quarter, since 2014. 
  • Jobs in onshore wind energy are down by 2,300, or nearly one third.  
  • Jobs in solar energy are down by 4,300, or over 40%. 

The sector with the largest growth in jobs has been low emission vehicles and infrastructure, where the number of jobs has more than doubled (19,100 jobs in 2020, compared to 9,300 in 2014). 

With the overall downward trend in the numbers of green jobs, the TUC says that the government is letting down working people who back action on climate change, but are not confident that the current government is creating green jobs.  

Polling by Britain Thinks, published by the TUC last week, revealed that while most UK workers (86%) support the transition to a green economy, only a quarter (25%) believe that the government’s current plans for climate action will create many new jobs in their local area. 

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:  

“There are so many opportunities for the UK on the path to net zero. We can be pioneers in zero-carbon steel, electric vehicles, and floating offshore wind turbines. And we can create 300,000 jobs in retrofits, so that everyone has a greener, warmer home with affordable bills.  

“But we will miss out on these opportunities if ministers do not step up public investment and action. And we could see existing jobs lost to other countries who modernise their industry faster. 

“Working people say they want action on climate change. They know it will make their future more safe and secure. The government’s Green Jobs Taskforce set out a programme for how to create and fill good green jobs – it’s time for ministers to get on with it.” 

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