Tens of thousands of Hertfordshire jobs need 'reskilling' for green economy

Study calls for a “Green New Deal” to drive recovery from pandemic

Monday, 6th July 2020, 10:44 am
Updated Monday, 6th July 2020, 10:48 am

More than 75,000 jobs in Hertfordshire would be at risk in a shift to a green economy, new analysis suggests, with workers needing new skills and training.

But tens of thousands of other roles could be created or would be in higher demand in an eco-friendly transition.

The study – published by council leaders’ group UK100 – is calling for a “Green New Deal” to drive the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis while creating a zero-carbon society by 2050.

More than 75,000 jobs in Hertfordshire would be at risk in a shift to a green economy

An estimated ​76,945 workers would need “reskilling” in Hertfordshire to adapt to more sustainable industries, according to the analysis.

That’s 12 per cent of all local jobs, although that includes any new ones it predicts would be created in a green jobs revolution.

The findings – based on figures compiled by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment – analyses the ways in which employees in certain sectors may have to retrain.

This could include a car mechanic learning to repair electric vehicles, roofers becoming solar panel installers, or oil and gas technicians transferring to offshore wind-farms.

It also predicts how many new eco-friendly jobs could be created, as well as the number of existing workers whose skills would be in high demand in the green economy.

In Hertfordshire, 71,241 such roles were identified – fewer than the number of jobs at risk, meaning the area would see a negative impact overall.

Polly Billington, director of UK100, said: “We need to ensure this is not a car or carbon-led recovery.

“A New Deal for Green Skills and Growth will kick-start the recovery, ensure we are internationally competitive and put us on a path to a cleaner, greener economy, so we can meet the net-zero target.”

According to the research, the most at-risk sectors in terms of the number of jobs that will require retraining in ​Hertfordshire are:

Business administration and support services (14,342)

Professional, scientific and technical (12,172)

Construction (11,988)

​But there was some overlap in the areas flagged as standing to benefit the most in terms of high demand and new roles:

Construction (12,191)

Business administration and support services (12,019)

Manufacturing (11,152)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently set out plans to fuel the economic recovery as the country begins to emerge from the pandemic, including a promise to “build back greener”.

But UK100 said the Government had committed five times as much public money for roadbuilding over the next five years than for buses, cycling and walking – £27billion compared to just £5billon.