Tens of thousands of Buckinghamshire jobs need 'reskilling' for green economy

More than 25,000 jobs in Buckinghamshire would be at risk in a shift to a green economy, new analysis suggests, with workers needing new skills and training.
The study  published by council leaders group UK100  is calling for a Green New Deal to drive the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis while creating a zero-carbon society by 2050.The study  published by council leaders group UK100  is calling for a Green New Deal to drive the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis while creating a zero-carbon society by 2050.
The study published by council leaders group UK100 is calling for a Green New Deal to drive the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis while creating a zero-carbon society by 2050.

But tens of thousands of other roles could be created or would be in higher demand in an eco-friendly transition.

The study – published by council leaders’ group UK100 – is calling for a “Green New Deal” to drive the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis while creating a zero-carbon society by 2050.

An estimated ​25,873 workers would need “reskilling” in Buckinghamshire to adapt to more sustainable industries, according to the analysis.

That’s 11% of all local jobs, although that includes any new ones it predicts would be created in a green jobs revolution.

The findings – based on figures compiled by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment – analyses the ways in which employees in certain sectors may have to retrain.

This could include a car mechanic learning to repair electric vehicles, roofers becoming solar panel installers, or oil and gas technicians transferring to offshore wind-farms.

It also predicts how many new eco-friendly jobs could be created, as well as the number of existing workers whose skills would be in high demand in the green economy.

In Buckinghamshire, 25,226 such roles were identified– fewer than the number of jobs at risk, meaning the area would see a negative impact overall.

Across Great Britain, around 3.1 million – roughly one in 10 – jobs will require retraining, while nearly the same number could be created or would become desirable to employers based on existing skills.

Polly Billington, director of UK100, said: “We need to ensure this is not a car or carbon-led recovery.

“There is a huge opportunity here to skill up our workforce and invest in the jobs we need right now.

“A New Deal for Green Skills and Growth will kick start the recovery, ensure we are internationally competitive and put us on a path to a cleaner, greener economy, so we can meet the net-zero target.”

According to the research, the most at-risk sectors in terms of the number of jobs that will require retraining in ​Buckinghamshire are:

Construction (3,996)

Wholesale (3,275)

Business administration and support services (3,266)

​But there was some overlap in the areas flagged as standing to benefit the most in terms of high demand and new roles:

Manufacturing (5,576)

Construction (4,064)

Wholesale (2,997)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently set out plans to fuel the economic recovery as the country begins to emerge from the pandemic, including a promise to “build back greener”.

But UK100 said the Government had committed five times as much public money for roadbuilding over the next five years than for buses, cycling and walking – £27 billion compared to just £5 billon.

A Treasury spokesman said: “Throughout this crisis, we’ve continued to take our environmental responsibilities seriously and remain committed to meeting our climate change and wider environmental targets, including our commitment to net zero by 2050.

“As we take action to rebuild our economy we will aim to drive clean, sustainable and inclusive growth across all regions of the UK.”