Mayor of West Yorkshire announces Green Jobs Taskforce to make region a leader in green skills

Tracy Brabin calls on region’s employers to help fulfil key pledge of creating 1,000 green jobs for young people

Visiting a Northern Powergrid training centre in Swillington, Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, has announced a major step towards fulfilling her pledge of creating 1,000 well paid, skilled, green jobs for young people aged under 30 with the formation of a Green Jobs Taskforce for the region. 

As well as becoming a founding member of the Green Jobs Taskforce, Northern Powergrid has committed to supporting the Mayor’s pledge as it takes a leading role in getting West Yorkshire ready for a low carbon future. 

Also launching today is the Mayoral Green Jobs Gateway on the West Yorkshire Combined Authority website. Employers are encouraged to sign up to support the Mayor by pledging jobs for young people.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “Through the West Yorkshire Green Jobs Taskforce we want to make our region a leader in green skills and jobs as we meet our commitment of becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038. I am delighted that Northern Powergrid has agreed to join us on this journey by joining the West Yorkshire Green Jobs Taskforce.

“We’re also taking steps to deliver on my pledge of creating 1,000 well paid, skilled, green jobs for young people, who have been so severely impacted by the pandemic. I urge employers from all sectors to register their interest with Green Jobs Gateway so we can make a real difference to the lives of young people across West Yorkshire.”

Andy Bilclough, Director of Field Operations at Northern Powergrid, the company responsible for the region’s electricity distribution network, said: “We’re proud to lead the way as the first business to support the Mayor’s pledge. Our electricity network powers peoples’ everyday lives, businesses and enables economic growth - and our workforce is an integral part of the communities we serve in West Yorkshire.

“We look forward to working in partnership to create job opportunities that support upskilling, reskilling and multiskilling to create a stronger talent pool that helps the region prosper and local people reach their career potential. Creating a diverse workforce with the skillsets needed to manage a smarter, more digitalised electricity network will be essential as we seek to create a greener energy system for our customers and support the drive to net zero.

“Between now and the end of 2023 we’re looking to create around 300 jobs across our operating area which could result in more than 70 jobs in West Yorkshire. We’re also proposing, as part of our draft 2023-28 business plan, to create 1,000 jobs across our operating area in the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire with hundreds of these opportunities set to benefit this region.”

The new Green Jobs Taskforce, to be chaired by Tracy Brabin, will bring together experts from business, education and training, and the third and public sectors. Its goal is to position West Yorkshire as a leader for green skills and jobs and set out a roadmap to deliver the skills and jobs needed to address the climate emergency.

The new Green Jobs Taskforce will oversee the development of the Mayoral Green Jobs Gateway, which will create 1,000 well paid, skilled, green jobs for young people and ensure that West Yorkshire has the pipeline of talent needed to realise its ambitious target of becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038 with significant progress by the end of the decade. 

Employers are being encouraged to pledge their support to the Mayoral Green Jobs Gateway on the Combined Authority’s website. 

Green Jobs are defined as employment in an activity that directly contributes to - or indirectly supports - the achievement of the UK's net zero emissions target and other environmental goals, such as nature restoration and mitigation against climate risks.

It reflects the fact that almost every organisation and occupation in West Yorkshire has an opportunity to contribute to tackling the climate emergency, whether working in low carbon sectors, ensuring a just transition for high carbon sectors, or making environmentally friendly changes to their working practices.

Estimates show that West Yorkshire has the potential to create over 70,000 good, new, high skilled jobs in the green economy by the middle of the century, and 40,000 of them by 2030.