The UK Low Carbon Economy

The Wider Context

  • Green jobs provide climate change solutions. Public policies should be established to encourage investment in the low carbon industries and technologies such as energy efficiency investment will help to protect the economy against future rises in oil prices.
  • Government clearly has a key role to play in setting the right policy framework and a lead, both for reduction of carbon emissions and to ensure that the UK businesses are best placed to take advantage of the national and global transition to a low carbon economy.
  • The state has a central role in stimulating the green economy with investments and support in the areas of innovation, research and development and ensuring we have the necessary knowledge and skills.
  • Businesses in the UK need to be convinced that the current emphasis on greening the economy will remain on the policy agenda for a significant period of time with a transformational plan in place combined  with massive financial infrastructure investments to  mitigate against uncertainly and  stimulate need and demand for green goods and services.
  • Other areas of stimulating growth include tapping into the purchasing power of the public sector, strengthening financial incentives to encourage a wide uptake of green products and services and improving communication and information to consumers.
  • The projects must contribute to the development of a low-carbon and resource efficient economy, which will support the UK’s recovery, resilience and future competitiveness in an environmentally sustainable way.
  • There is a need to create good quality green skills and green jobs where jobs are most needed particularly if we are to address issues of fairness, social justice and inequality.
  • Need to reward organisations that are meeting commercial demands, without compromising the environment for future generations.
  • What is a green job? This needs to be defined by Government and should include the provision and production of environmental goods and services as well as low-carbon sectors, to incorporate supply chain jobs and to count ‘greener’ versions of existing jobs as well. On the idea of ‘green jobs’ – developing green manufacturing and renewable energy to deliver the changes needed to reduce the UK’s emissions and move towards a low carbon economy, more resilient to future changes such as increases in oil prices.


Young people and green jobs -The local context

  • Mechanisms should exist at the local and national level for young people to participate and play an active role in the UK transition to a low carbon economy.
  • There is  huge  need to invest in green skills  training and to create many green and low carbon industrial vocational opportunities for young people who are unemployed and those working in the ‘traditional ‘ manufacturing and service industries .Training could start  from basic /semi-skilled work training  to the provision of more advanced  level of qualifications and learning by progressive skills increments.
  • Young people should be offered opportunities to train and obtain skills in a number of areas which include working in a programme of public works, including green manufacturing and renewable energy; home insulation, retrofitting and house building; in developing our rail infrastructure and stepping up progress towards low carbon vehicles; and developing the UK’s communications infrastructure.
  • Other areas of work for young people to be involved can include micro-generation which will contribute a smaller proportion of total energy, although this emerging sector, comprising small scale wind and solar devices for domestic, small business and community users, has the potential to create a large and sustainable industry in the manufacture, installation and servicing of smaller scale renewable technologies.
  • Young people from disadvantaged communities would benefit from semi-skilled employment in energy efficiency measures for buildings and industry which are among the most effective ways to combine environmental outcomes with a fast economic stimulus. An area based approach will deliver scale economies driving down costs to provide a much needed boost to alleviate fuel poverty and reduce household energy bills.
  • Third sector organisations need to create climate change partnerships forums at the grass roots to encourage Local Government, Trades Unions, green employers and training providers to work jointly to provide a local co-ordinated response to the provision of advice, information, green work placements, volunteering opportunities and funding for young people to progress into work.
  • The Sustainability4Youth aims to create education, training and employment pathways for young people to enter the green economy by becoming an NCFE accredited centre for sustainable development, by engaging employers, working with green businesses and supporting the growth of green social entrepreneurs.
  • Young people need to be consulted and involved in the design and delivery of the sustainable development youth programmes if the project is to have a lasting legacy for social and community regeneration.

Our pilot LDA/GLE employability Green skills project in July 2010 has demonstrated a need for third sector green organisations like ours to work collaboratively with local and national employers, Local authorities and green businesses to fast track young people into the green and sustainable development sectors by establishing education, training and employment pathways and by establishing a skills and learning framework. “After my experience of implementing our green skills employability programme for 16 young people, I’ve learnt that managing young people’s expectations can prove to be difficult when one is offering training without a clear vision of the likelihood of future job in the sustainable development or green sector at the end of the course. However, I believe there will be many green jobs for young people in the UK because of the immediate threat of climate change, the rising cost of fossil fuels and the growing political will to address carbon emissions. .It is only a matter of time when the green economy in the UK gets going and these jobs  will be very sought after”

Sabino Miranda – Creative Director