In response to the Spring Statement made today by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Cara Jenkinson, Cities Manager at Ashden said:
“If the government really wants to build a stronger and more secure economy and tackle the cost-of-living crisis then then they must invest now in training thousands of people to roll out an urgent nationwide campaign of energy efficiency measures, such as retrofitting housing, and installing heat pumps. The cut to VAT on these measures is welcome, but not enough to drive the scale of change needed.
“A rapid ramp-up of home energy retrofit to protect people from rising energy prices requires a huge upskilling of the existing construction workforce and investment in colleges to train a new generation of builders and heat engineers, but unfortunately there was no new skills policy, simply a promise to review the apprenticeship levy.
In the short term, support for people struggling with the costs of heating is inadequate, Ms Jenkinson continued. “An extra £500m of household support will do little to help millions of people in fuel poverty. Instead, the chancellor has chosen to help motorists through the fuel duty cut, which flies in the face of net zero targets and mostly benefits wealthier people.”
LinkedIn’s 2022 Global Green Skills Report suggests that while low-carbon sectors are growing, the flow of skilled workers is not keeping pace. It finds job postings on the platform requiring green skills had grown roughly 8% a year since 2015, but green talent (workers with skills and experience relevant to low-carbon roles) grew at roughly 6%.
Ashden is calling for:
- Prioritisation of green skills and training by climate-focused funders and investors, and by governments (national, regional and local) around the world.
- Closer co-ordination between the public sector, businesses and training institutions – ensuring courses and qualifications match the needs of frontline organisations
- Action to boost skills in disadvantaged communities and among marginalised groups – recognising that investment in skills brings immediate social benefits beyond lowering emissions.
- Replication of the proven innovation making enormous progress in this area.