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Details yet to be fleshed out on costly green jobs ambitions, Government admits

20 January 2022

In its response to the Environmental Audit Committee’s report, Green Jobs, the Government has confirmed that key government departments are not currently represented in its Green Jobs Delivery Group, and that no changes will be made to the national curriculum to embed environmental sustainability in education.

However, the Government has expressed its commitment to ensure the right skills and wider employment support are in place to support people into green jobs. The Committee welcomes news that the Department for Work and Pensions is considering how net zero and environmental goals can be incorporated into the design stages of future labour market interventions. The Government has also confirmed that it will report periodically on progress on embedding green jobs across government schemes.

Despite these positive moves, the Government does not plan to embed environmental sustainability across all primary and secondary school courses and in A Levels. It stated that sustainability elements of apprenticeships and T-Levels will only be covered where occupationally relevant.

The Committee is concerned that the Government’s Green Jobs Delivery Group has failed to include ministers from HM Treasury and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, despite the departments’ important roles in supporting the UK’s net zero goals. The Committee has therefore written to the Government today querying this, and how the group will achieve its objectives to support green jobs in sectors across the economy.

Chair's comment

Environmental Audit Committee Chairman, Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP, said:

“The Government’s general commitment to ensure the right skills are in place for the green transition is welcome, as is the work being done by the Department for Work and Pensions to ensure how green goals can be incorporated into labour market interventions.

“When we published our report in October, we expressed concern that the Government’s grand ambitions to deliver two million green jobs lacked policy detail. This is sadly borne out in the response. Government departments lack a central coordination function to deliver green jobs policies. The national curriculum is not embedding environmental sustainability nor even restoring the teaching of nature into schools as we had recommended. The Government’s response to our report is therefore disappointing.

“This Government’s current piecemeal approach to green jobs does not give the confidence boost to those industrial sectors that will require, and need to develop, the green skills of the future.”

Further information

Image: Maria Godfrida from Pixabay