Potential clean job creation in regions with high oil & gas employment

This place-based analysis by Transition Economics, commissioned by Platform, examines the potential for clean job creation in Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire, Fife & Tayside, Tyneside and Teesside. These four regions all have significant current employment within the oil & gas sector and its supply chains.

The report identifies three key sectors for potential clean job creation in the decade to 2032 within these regions: domestic energy efficiency retrofits, offshore wind (both fixed and floating, including manufacturing, construction and operations & maintenance), and hydrogen electrolyser exports.

Total clean job potential by region by 2032 (in domestic retrofit, offshore wind and hydrogen electrolyser exports)

  • Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire: 24,500 – 33,800 jobs
  • Fife & Tayside: 24,100 – 34,200 jobs
  • Teesside: 20,100 – 28,300 jobs
  • Tyneside: 29,100 – 42,600 jobs

Total clean job potential by sector by 2032 (in Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire, Fife & Tayside, Tyneside and Teesside)

  • Domestic energy efficiency retrofit: 61,800 – 93,200 jobs
  • Offshore Wind: 30,500 – 38,200 jobs
  • Hydrogen electrolyser exports: 5,500 – 7,500 jobs

Transforming these jobs from potential numbers into reality will depend on the climate transition being delivered on schedule, alongside supportive policy frameworks and public sector investment. There are jobs-rich and jobs-poor models for decarbonisation. Reducing carbon emissions will in itself not automatically lead to significant job creation, and green jobs are not necessarily quality jobs.

However, place-based policies that stimulate job creation and learn from successes elsewhere can ensure that the sectors identified in this study create significant numbers of good quality jobs in the regions by 2032. By advocating for this future, local policy-makers can enable quality clean jobs for local residents.


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.

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