A quarter of a million green apprenticeships would help to address the unemployment and climate crisis, according to a report published by Friends of the Earth.
The report, which was published today (March 2), highlights that the collective impact of youth unemployment during the pandemic could see up to £39bn in lost wages in the UK over the next 20 years.
However, according to the report, one of the key ways to tackle this issue is to provide young people with jobs in green industries such as renewable energy, woodland creation and peatland restoration
Based on this, the authors have highlighted the areas with the greatest opportunities:
In order to deliver these jobs, the report has suggested that the government introduce a £10.6bn fund towards wage subsidies, training and diversity measures, as well as for the creation of a network of National and Regional Centres of Excellence for Zero Carbon Skills.
The report also proposes bursaries in order to promote participation in green apprenticeships among disadvantaged groups including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, women, and disabled people.
Denis Fernando, climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: ‘There’s a serious risk that this country is going to leave its young people to a future devastated by the climate crisis and unemployment. But it’s not too late to turn this around. Investing in green apprenticeships in areas such as renewable energy and woodland creation could prevent a new wave of youth unemployment while helping the UK towards a more climate-friendly future.’
Laura Chow, head of charities at People’s Postcode Lottery who supported the report, added: ‘This research is a stark reminder that the steps we take now to tackle climate change can also introduce opportunities for young people.
‘Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have supported this research as part of our Postcode Climate Challenge initiative, which is supporting 12 charities with an additional £24 million for projects tackling climate change this year. Ending youth unemployment while fighting climate change offers a worthwhile solution to tackling two of the key issues we face.’
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