UK green jobs set to offer better salaries than high-carbon roles

5th July 2021


Web green jobs shutterstock 1056264089

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Business & Industry ,
  • UK government ,
  • Skills ,
  • Training ,
  • Sustainability

Author

Rachel Stone

New jobs that help drive the UK towards net-zero emissions are set to offer salaries that are almost one-third higher than those in carbon-intensive industries, research suggests.

In a new report, the think tank Onward highlights how an estimated 3.2 million workers will need to increase their skill level, or retrain in a new qualification, to meet the government’s 2050 net-zero target.

The typical skill requirement of a job in a carbon-intensive industry is 46% lower than the average net-zero job, and net-zero workers have qualification levels that are 24% higher on average.

The report also highlights how net-zero jobs have a median annual gross income of £37,190 for full-time employees, 18% higher than the national average, and 30% higher than jobs in current carbon-intensive industries.

This means that, with the right training, a worker in a net-zero transition industry could expect to earn £1.30 for every £1 earnt by an employee in a carbon-intensive role.

Ted Christie-Miller, senior researcher at Onward, said that the UK workforce is “woefully prepared” for the transition to net-zero emissions, and urged the government to help support the required upskilling nationwide.

“If we want people to take advantage of the opportunities of a green economy, and the well-paid green collar jobs it will provide, urgent action is needed to upskill and train people up and down the country,” he continued.

“This report provides a blueprint for the government to give businesses the tools to invest in their own workforce and workers the opportunities to improve their skills to grasp the full benefits of the net-zero transition. There is no time to waste.”

The regions which stand to disproportionately benefit from the net-zero transition are the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber, according to the report.

These regions make up 24.2% and 18.2% of areas in the top quintile of areas where there is high potential for industrial emissions abatement and a higher average skill level within the workforce.

The report calls on the government to:

  • Introduce a 'Green Human Capital Tax Credit' to encourage employers to invest in the skills of their employees
  • Develop new apprenticeship standards, T Levels and degree apprenticeships to provide net-zero industries with the opportunity to grow their workforces
  • Fund 2,800 net-zero aligned PhDs in order to bolster domestic engineering expertise
  • Review the free qualifications offered within the Lifetime Skills Guarantee, to ensure the key qualifications required for buildings retrofit are included to help realise the estimated 900,000 – 1.3 million new jobs that will be required in this space by 2030
  • Establish a number of prestigious 'Net Zero Academies' to address the low skills penetration in regions which also suffer from a high proportion of jobs in carbon-intensive industries.

“This report sets out the scale and urgency of the labour market challenge to ensure a successful and fair transition to net zero across all parts of the UK,” said Sue Ferns, member of the government's Green Jobs Taskforce. “It should focus political minds on the need for action now.”

Image credit: Shutterstock


Transform articles

Net-zero requirements unveiled for government contracts

New measures will require UK businesses to commit to net-zero emissions by 2050 and publish credible carbon reduction plans before they can bid for major government contracts.

7th June 2021

Read more

The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) has today been launched to support financial institutions and corporates in assessing and managing emerging risks and opportunities as the world looks to reverse biodiversity loss.

4th June 2021

Read more

The UK government's investment plans for green jobs lag far behind those of most G7 countries, potentially undermining its net-zero emissions target, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has warned.

2nd June 2021

Read more

Daisy Lavington shares the main talking points of a recent webinar concerning changing employment patterns in a post-COVID-19 world

28th May 2021

Read more

Ben Kite talks to Chris Seekings about how the UK’s skills gap threatens to undermine the country’s environmental ambitions

28th May 2021

Read more

At the end of March, the IEMA Working Group on Environmental Auditing launched The Value of Environmental Auditing: an IEMA Senior Management Briefing.

28th May 2021

Read more

Nearly half of workers would accept a lower salary to work for an organisation that is socially and environmentally responsible, a survey of over 14,000 consumers in nine countries has uncovered.

22nd April 2021

Read more

In Pearce v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the claimant applied for an order quashing the Secretary’s consent for the Vanguard wind farm.

26th March 2021

Read more

The UK government has no coordinated plan for achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, despite setting the target in law almost two years ago, a cross-party group of MPs has warned today.

5th March 2021

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert