West Yorkshire set for over 70,000 green jobs by 2050

The West Yorkshire Green Jobs Taskforce was launched in January 2022 by Mayor Brabin, to deliver her manifesto pledge to create 1,000 green, skilled, well-paid jobs for young people.

22 February 2023

Tens of thousands of people will be employed in well-paid and secure jobs in the green sector across West Yorkshire by the middle of the century, according to research.

Data from the Local Government Association has found that over 70,000 green jobs will be created across the region by 2050, as West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin launches a new green skills action plan, in partnership with businesses and education providers.

The plan, which will be supported with £6.5 million of investment from the Mayor, follows a year-long dialogue with over 300 young people, and is part of the region’s “Green Jobs Taskforce” that launched a series of policy recommendations at an event in Leeds yesterday (21 February).

The taskforce – which is made up of public and private sector experts – called on Mayor Brabin to put “green rocket fuel” behind her £65 million Adult Education Budget, through a series of targeted measures to help people secure new green skills, and help businesses employ skilled green workers.

The six-point action plan adopted by the Mayor includes:

  • “Inspiring” every young person in the region with free green careers advice, starting with a new pilot scheme to be delivered across 130 primary schools in West Yorkshire.
  • “Facilitating” easy access to green skills and job information, with an online showcase called “Go Green” connecting learners and workers with education providers and businesses.
  • “Supporting” providers to adapt their curriculum to factor in local green career opportunities.
  • “Enabling” businesses to green their processes, save money on energy bills, and attract new talent, with a pilot scheme to help businesses recruit graduates into job vacancies.
  • “Embedding” new green skills partnerships, including working with the Leeds College of Building – the UKs only further education college dedicated to construction – to establish a “Regional Retrofit Advisory Board” to address skills gaps and make homes warmer and cheaper.
  • “Strengthening” existing green skills partnerships, including working with the Department for Education to develop new technical qualifications that address green skills gaps in the region.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said:

 “We have a clear roadmap to build a stronger, greener West Yorkshire which deals with the challenges and seizes the opportunities of the future.

“Faced with sky-high energy bills and the looming threat of floods, our businesses are already counting the cost of the climate crisis.

"It’s about time we reaped the rewards of a green transition – new skilled jobs, a revitalised economy, and a greener environment for future generations.

“I’m proud of the work of our Green Jobs Taskforce, which will pave the way for thousands of new well-paid jobs, on the road to a net zero carbon West Yorkshire by 2038.” 

 Phil Holdgate, Head of Production Sustainability at ITV Studios and Member of the West Yorkshire Green Jobs Taskforce, said:

 “It has been a pleasure and an honour to be part of the West Yorkshire Green Jobs Task Force. The transition towards a net zero society poses both a significant challenge and also an incredible opportunity, and having the Task Force's recommendations adopted by Mayor Brabin puts our region in good shape to be ready to meet those needs head on.”

 Georgia, a student at Netherhall Learning Campus in Huddersfield and graduate of the West Yorkshire Green Skills Youth Programme, said:

 “I was delighted to have the opportunity to work on the Green Skills Youth programme as it gave me the chance to broaden my understanding of the green economy.

 “It also gave me an understanding of the diverse nature of green careers as well as an insight into how companies can work with communities to develop a greener living lifestyle.”

 The West Yorkshire Green Jobs Taskforce was launched in January 2022 by Mayor Brabin, to deliver her manifesto pledge to create 1,000 green, skilled, well-paid jobs for young people. So far, 1,074 jobs have been pledged by businesses, with 365 workers fully employed.

The Taskforce includes representatives from the Leeds College of Building, Yorkshire Universities and the Trades Union Congress (TUC), as well as from businesses including Northern Powergrid, Enfinium, C-Capture, and ITV.

A “green job” can be defined as employment in an activity that contributes to protecting or restoring the environment, such as the installation and maintenance of heat pumps and solar panels to reduce energy bills for households and businesses.


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