UKERC research cited in Green Jobs Taskforce report

15 Jul 2021

In the autumn of last year, the Green Jobs Taskforce was launched, with a view to developing recommendations for helping unemployed people into skilled jobs that support the net zero transition and helping upskill and reskill those currently working in high-carbon businesses.

The Taskforce, convened by ministers from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Department for Education (DfE), was made up of members from industry, trade unions and the skills sector.

The group was asked to look at the following challenges and advise government, industry and the skills sector on how to realise the UK’s ambitions for green jobs:

  • the skills needed to drive a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic
  • the skills needed to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050
  • how the UK can ensure green jobs are good jobs, and open to all
  • how workers in high carbon-sectors can be supported to transition to the new green economy.

Following a public consultation, the Taskforce published their recommendations yesterday in the Green Jobs Taskforce Report. We were pleased to see that contributions from the Technology and Policy Assessment team, who are working on a Green Jobs project, were cited in the report, highlighting the valuable contribution made by the team.

The Green Jobs project is currently updating previous 2014 work on low carbon jobs. The current project examines the evidence for ‘net’ job creation from policies supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy, accounting for jobs ‘displaced’ from fossil fuel energy sectors. More recent evidence is explored in the light of key developments since the 2014 report, including: the rapid cost reduction of renewable energy technologies, the UK net zero emissions target and the economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the project still underway, initial findings have helped inform the Taskforce. A preliminary review of green jobs literature suggests that supporting a shift from fossil-fuels to renewable energy can deliver an increase in jobs, or at least no net loss in jobs. It is important however to ensure that green jobs are quality jobs, expressed for example in terms of adequate wages and full-time employment, and permanent rather than temporary jobs. Green jobs also tend to be higher skilled than non-green jobs, which has implications for upskilling and training provision as part of a net zero transition. More detailed findings will be published in due course.