An October publication by researchers at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change in the U.K. revisits the issue of green jobs: how to define them, where they are, and the labour market policy challenges of educating and training the workforce to prepare for them. Are ‘green’ jobs good jobs? How lessons from the experience to-date can inform labour market transitions of the future focuses on U.K. data, but also compares it to EU data and discusses the different labour market methodologies for measuring and tracking green jobs. The authors conclude that more information and deeper analysis is needed , especially regarding the educational needs of specific regions and occupations. An 8-page Policy Brief distills the policy applications of the analysis, concluding that green jobs provide good quality employment in Europe and in the UK, where they pay higher wages and are at lower risk of automation than non-green jobs, especially for middle- and low-skilled workers. The Brief notes that some groups, especially women and young people, are underrepresented. It concludes that policymakers need to focus on building the skills needed in the net-zero transition, and target transition policies to address regional and demographic imbalances.
This research comes as the government has a stated goal to reach 2 million green jobs by 2030, and to do so, has initiated a Green Jobs Task Force, and a multitude of studies, plans and consultations. Some sense and summary of all these comes in the Green Jobs Report released by the U.K. Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee on October 25. It is the result of a consultation process which received 65 submissions. Amongst the recommendations: based on the recent failure of the government’s Green Homes Grant voucher scheme, it is clear that the Government urgently needs to set out a retrofit skills strategy.