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STUC: major new green jobs report estimates up to 367,000 jobs in Scotland

With the right policies, decarbonising Scotland’s economy could create up to 367,000 jobs, according to a major new report by Transition Economics. However, without the right policies, job creation will be less than 131,000.

The report, commissioned by the STUC, looks at how energy, buildings, transport, manufacturing, waste, agriculture and land-use need to be decarbonised, and sets out how Scotland can maximise green job creation, as well as fair work and effective worker voice in these jobs. It calls for an active industrial strategy, far greater levels of public ownership and significant public investment. Among its specific recommendations are a street-by-street programme of energy efficiency upgrades; a national energy company that builds and generates renewables; and much greater investment in local authority bus services.

The report estimates the following future green job creation by sector:

• Energy: 30,000 – 95,000 jobs over 15+ years in zero carbon energy (including renewables, hydrogen and storage) – but potentially only 16,000 without the right policies.

• Buildings: 61,000 – 136,000 jobs over 10+ years in decarbonising buildings and broadband, plus a further 22,000 – 37,000 jobs over 3 years in building new social housing.

• Transport: 26,000 – 60,000 jobs over 10+ years in upgrading and expanding transport (railways, metros, EV charging and batteries, cycle and walking infrastructure, and zero-emissions freight & shipping), with a further 11,000 – 13,000 ongoing jobs in operations.

• Manufacturing & Industry: 5,000 – 9,000 jobs new and ongoing jobs in manufacturing (including steel, CCS and re-manufacturing), alongside protecting existing employment numbers in chemicals and refining.

• Waste: 17,000 – 23,500 jobs new and ongoing jobs in circular economies and waste management.

• Land-Use: 17,000 – 43,000 jobs over 12+ years in nature restoration, reforestation and sustainable farming.

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Friends of the Earth: An emergency plan on green jobs for young people

There are over 500,000 young people aged 16-24 out of work, and numbers are expected to grow substantially with the end of the furlough scheme. This is a youth unemployment emergency.
Friends of the Earth commissioned Transition Economics to identify how to create green jobs quickly, with a focus on green apprenticeships, and to identify the scale of funding needed.

The report – An emergency plan on green jobs for young people – finds:

  • The economic scarring impact of one year’s unemployment for an 18-20 year old comprises lost earnings of £42,000 – £133,000 over the next twenty years.
  • Current levels of youth unemployment could lead to £32 – £39 billion in wage scarring across the UK, if all currently unemployed 16-24 year olds stayed unemployed for 1 year. For an average-sized local authority area in England and Wales this represents £86 – £105 million in lost local earnings.
  • There are 161 existing apprenticeships standards in England that can support decarbonisation, out of a total of 571 approved for delivery. However, new standards need to be developed (e.g. whole-house retrofits), whilst others need important updates and/or numbers to be expanded significantly (e.g. heat pump installers).
  • The government could create 250,000 green apprenticeships across England and Wales for £6.2 – £10.6 billion in total funding over 5 years. This covers wages subsidies at 50% or full cost, training costs and diversity bursaries.
  • Funding the green infrastructure needed to meet climate goals – such as retrofitting existing homes and building new green homes, upgrading the railways, and afforestation – could create over 1 million jobs over the next two years, and provide the basis for recruiting and training green apprentices.

The report makes the case for a ‘green opportunity guarantee’ that commits to ensuring all young people are offered a job, an apprenticeship, or training. This includes

  • A government funded £40 billion a year green infrastructure programme would create over 1 million jobs.
  • Up to £10 billion over the next 5 years to create 250,000 green apprenticeships in England & Wales, with wage subsidies of 50-100% depending on need. Devolved nations should receive equivalent funding for programmes within their borders.
  • Strategic funding alongside a 10-year funding settlement for Further Education, to enable colleges to update curricula and massively expand the provision of green courses, traineeships, and apprenticeships.

See also:

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Wales TUC: Infrastructure investment could create 59,000 jobs and boost economic recovery

Research carried out for the Wales TUC by Transition Economics shows that almost 60,000 jobs could be created in Wales in the next two years through government investment in key infrastructure projects.

Broken down by sector, projected job creation from a £6bn investment in infrastructure would mean: 

●           27 thousand jobs in housing construction and energy efficiency retrofits

●           18 thousand jobs in transport upgrades

●           9 thousand jobs in energy, manufacturing, and broadband infrastructure upgrades

●           5 thousand jobs in land, forestry, and agriculture improvements   

These jobs would benefit some of the sectors and demographics hit hardest by the COVID19 emergency. Over 75% of the jobs would be created in sectors that traditionally employ non-graduate workers.

Shavanah Taj, Wales TUC General Secretary, said:

“The best way to protect our economy is to keep people in work. And that’s why we’ve been calling for an extension to the job retention scheme beyond October.

“But we also need urgent action to create equitable and inclusive new job opportunities for all workers in Wales. We have suffered from long-term under-investment in our nation’s infrastructure. Investing in green and ambitious projects now will not only create work for thousands of people in Wales but will also provide huge long term benefits to the Welsh economy, which is particularly crucial as we set to leave the EU.

“The costs of inaction far outweigh the costs of making these investments. We need the UK Government to provide the level of funding that Wales needs”.

Commenting on the publication of the report, the Future Generations Commissioner, Sophie Howe, said:

“This analysis from Wales TUC shows the potential of investment in key sectors to enable a green, fair and prosperous recovery from COVID-19.

“We urgently need a recovery that increases equality, provides skills, training and employment opportunities in industries of the future, while incentivising every sector in Wales to meet the well-being goals of the Well-being of Future Generations Act.

“This analysis shows this is within reach through wise investment and bold stimulus decisions.”

Read the report here.

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TUC: Can an infrastructure stimulus replace UK jobs wiped out by COVID19 crisis?

An analysis of infrastructure investment options to build back better

New research carried out for the TUC by Transition Economics reveals that fast tracking spending on projects such as broadband, green technology, transport and housing could deliver a 1.24 million jobs boost over the next two years.

Read more: TUC’s Rebuilding after recession: a plan for jobs

Our full analysis:

Our analysis recommends 19 infrastructure projects totalling £85 billion public investment, based on investment and employment modelling and ten World Bank-derived criteria including long-term job creation, resilience and sustainability. 

Broken down by sector, projected job creation (direct and supply chain) is as follows:

  • 735 thousand jobs in housing construction and energy efficiency retrofits
  • 289 thousand jobs in transport upgrades
  • 98 thousand jobs in energy, waste, and manufacturing infrastructure upgrades
  • 81 thousand jobs in land, forestry, and agriculture improvements
  • 42 thousand jobs in broadband upgrades

These jobs benefit sectors and demographics hit hardest by the COVID19 emergency. Over 75% of the jobs would be created in sectors that traditionally employ non-graduate workers.

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The UK North Sea as a Global Experiment in Resource Extraction

This report by Juan Carlos Boué was published by ScotE3 with support from PCS and Platform, and edited by Transition Economics’s Mika Minio-Paluello.

Juan Carlos Boué’s report (pdf download) analyses the UK’s North Sea oil tax regime, which has handed super-profits to international oil companies while the taxpayer now foots the bill for decommissioning.

Boué argues that, since the 1970s, these tax arrangements have been “at the forefront of the process of redefinition of the economic frontiers of the State”. These “neoliberal governance structures”, designed in the UK, were exported across the world in the 1980s and 1990s, along with privatisation and “market liberalisation”. The global spread of the UK governance model did produce oil production gains, Boué concludes, “but also destabilised many key petroleum producers, whose governments found themselves starved of fiscal income”.

Boué brings the story right up to date, showing how, as North Sea oil production declines, the government has pushed the burden of decommissioning costs on to the public purse, while the oil companies eke out every last drop of oil, and of profit, from their operations.

Download report: https://tinyurl.com/udpqncd