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Gov green jobs revolution needs to speed up by 25 times to hit target

Jack Kennedy, UK Economist - Indeed

Green jobs need to be created at 25 times the current rate[1] if the Government is to meet its target of 440,000 new jobs in green industries by 2030[2], according to new analysis*.

The UK’s low carbon and renewable energy economy is in the spotlight as it prepares to host the COP26 international summit on climate change in November. Ministers have this week announced grants worth thousands of pounds to encourage homeowners to switch to greener heating, as well as money for on-street charging points for electric vehicles and the development of alternative energy sources. 

Government plans to end the sale of gas boilers by 2035[5] underline the need for more jobs to be created in the green economy as technologies evolve rapidly and new technicians and installers are required.

Indeed’s analysis of postings on its platform showed the share of green job vacancies rose by 13%between January 2016 and October 2021, but that it still remains low at around 2,000 green roles per million job postings (0.2%). 

The study suggests new green jobs need to be created at approximately 25 times the current pace if the UK is to meet the Government’s target by the end of the decade.

The most common green job vacancies this year are for recycling workers, representing19% of all green job postings on Indeed. This is followed by environmental managers, with 15% of postings, and ecologists at 10%[3].

Government announcements on green jobs have often described the roles as being “good quality” jobs but Indeed’s analysis shows typical salaries for green vacancies are mixed. 

The median £18,720 pay for recycling workers is significantly lower than the UK average full-time annual salary of £31,000[6]. Environmental managers, with an average salary of £37,500, and sustainability consultants (£42,500) are relatively well-paid roles in comparison, while other common green jobs tend to pay close to or below the UK average.

The North East of England and Wales have the highest concentration of green jobs. The North East has 2,395 green jobs per million job postings, followed by Wales with 2,114. This is followed by the South West, London and Scotland[4].

These findings align with research from the Social Market Foundation[7], which recently suggested that the North and Wales were among the areas best-placed to create green jobs, partly due to the existing skills base in post-industrial regions.

Jack Kennedy, UK Economist at global job site Indeed, comments:“There’s near unanimous agreement on the need to stimulate the green economy, but our data suggests it has not yet translated into the hoped-for surge in green job creation. 

“The Prime Minister’s vision of a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’ envisages the creation of both new technologies and hundreds of thousands of new jobs. But at the current sluggish rate of job creation, the revolution risks being tripped up by the lack of green roles. 

“The Government has announced several initiatives to enable the UK to transition to net zero, but with many of the most in-demand green jobs being specialist positions, policymakers will also need to consider training programmes to help workers gain the necessary skills.  

“Many employers have been keen to state their own environmental goals and they too will bear some of the responsibility to train and re-skill workers as they switch from ‘dirty’ to clean energy.”

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