Mayor of West Yorkshire launches Green Jobs Taskforce

Experts from across the region have set out a roadmap for future jobs to tackle the climate emergency by launching The Green Jobs Taskforce.

The Green Jobs Taskforce, chaired by Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, met yesterday bringing together experts from business, education and training, and the third and public sectors. The taskforce began its review of the landscape for green jobs and skills in West Yorkshire and decisions were made on how to reach its goal 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. 

They also discussed key themes for the next twelve months, including 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. 

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. 

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said:  

“Today was a step forward to achieving our ambition of becoming a net zero carbon economy.  

The West Yorkshire Green Jobs Taskforce, a group of professionals with great influence and direction, have today agreed on the next steps needed to improve our green economy and deliver on my pledge of creating 1,000 well paid, skilled, green jobs for young people.  

This is a cause that I am passionate about. It’s crucial we act now and get this right for the people and businesses of West Yorkshire, and the future generations in terms of quality of life, health and employment.”  

The Mayor described in her opening speech how, as our economy adapts to a greener, more sustainable way of working, the job market will continue to grow and evolve. Therefore, the region’s workforce and businesses must be supported to drive progress whilst ensuring that no one is left behind and inclusive growth in our diverse region is prioritised. 

The taskforce brings together highly respected and influential professionals holding a vast range of experience, networks, and knowledge. Members include: 

  • Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire 
  • Derek Whitehead, Principal and CEO of Leeds College of Building 
  • Rashik Parmar MBE FBCS, IBM Fellow and Vice President Technology – EMEA 
  • Peter O’Brien, Executive Director at Yorkshire Universities 
  • Alex Miles, Managing Director of Yorkshire Learning Providers Network, Director of Northern Skills Network and Governor at Selby College 
  • Gareth Forest, Policy and Campaigns, Trades Union Congress (TUC) for the Yorkshire and the Humber 
  • Lynne Allison, CITB (construction industry training board) customer engagement manager for the Yorkshire and Humber and Northeast Region 
  • Matthew WalkerChief Executive of Leeds Federated Housing Association 
  • David MastersGroup Managing Director, OE Electrics 
  • Jan Thornton, Vice Chair Yorkshire Food, Farming & Rural Network 

Derek Whitehead, Principal and CEO of Leeds College of Building said: 

“Leeds College of Building is the only GFEC (General Further Education College) specialising in Construction and the Built Environment nationally, and a great asset based in Leeds, to support developments and skills and training needs of students and employers in Green Jobs and the wider West Yorkshire Zero Carbon needs.  

The work of the Taskforce is important to stimulate debate, supporting policy, joined up thinking, meeting West Yorkshire’s needs and ensuring action is taken to develop the talent pool for employers to make a real impact in the Green Economy.” 

Rashik Parmar MBE FBCS, IBM Fellow and Vice President Technology – EMEA said: 

“I am delighted to play my part in this task force by helping inspiring initiatives that will create new jobs that help address the climate emergency while delivering sustainable economic advantage for the region.” 

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.  

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.  

This Taskforce will collectively establish the actions that are needed now to provide our people with access to green skills and jobs, and the region‘s business community with access to a skilled and talented workforce. It will also advise on the development of a Mayoral Green Jobs Gateway to support the creation of 1,000 well-paid, skilled green jobs for young people.