Meeting net-zero will require half a million new jobs

Nearly half a million builders, electricians and plumbers will be needed to meet the government’s net-zero goals, according to research published by UK100. 

The construction industry has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, with 90% of construction businesses having applied for the furlough scheme.

However, according to recent research, achieving the government’s net-zero goals will require a ‘retrofit army’ and could provide the country with an opportunity to kickstart the construction industry.

In order to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, it will require improving almost all of the UK’s 2.9 million homes.

In order to help encourage this, a cross-party task force of 24 Mayors and local leaders have submitted a proposal to the Chancellor to unlock £100bn as part of the Spending Review, which closes today (September 24).

Analysis conducted by UK100 and Siemens, shows that a £5bn investment by the government could unlock £100bn of private sector investment. In total, this could create over 455,000 jobs.

In the proposal, the task force have outlined a five-point Resilient Recovery Declaration:

1. A long-term government-led plan to retrofit homes across the country.
2. A new duty for Ofgem to support the delivery of Net Zero as part of a renewable locally planned electricity grid.
3. Creating a Net Zero Development Bank to increase private investment in renewable technologies.
4. A commitment to providing seamless access to electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the UK.
5. New powers for mayors and local authorities to deliver Net-Zero.

Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council and chair of the UK100 Resilient Recovery Task Force, said: ‘With the furlough scheme coming to an end, this country now faces both a climate and a jobs emergency—with both requiring urgent action.

‘By investing in nearly half a million skilled and secure jobs as part of the Spending Review, the Chancellor could lay the foundation for a resilient and sustainable recovery across the country and ensure that we have the workforce we need to actually build back better and greener.

‘Local authorities are ready to play our part in helping the country meet its legal Net Zero obligations. We will continue to lead the way, in partnership with businesses and the Government.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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Pippa Neill

Pippa Neill

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