But what is a Green Job?

With the #GreenJobsForAll campaign, we’re calling for the government to invest to create millions of good, green jobs, to tackle the climate crisis, care crisis, and unemployment crisis all at the same time.

But what do we mean by Green Jobs?

Most people understand green jobs as jobs that help us move to a post-carbon economy. Things like installing wind turbines and solar panels, insulating homes, restoring wild spaces and building green infrastructure. These are all really important, and there is a huge potential for job creation in this sector over the next 2-10 years.

There is a huge amount of work to be done - and fast - to transform society to meet the scale of the climate crisis. We need to insulate our homes and buildings so that they are warm in winter, transform our transport system so that it is clean, affordable and accessible, modernise industry to reduce resource use, create more clean, green, energy, re-wild our landscape and transform the way we grow our food.

But green jobs must also include jobs that sustain healthy, happy lives, done by the people we recognised as key workers during the pandemic. Most of these jobs are not only low carbon, they are also local to our communities, and help us to live happy and healthy lives. Jobs in health and social care, education, public transport, and jobs that sustain life by growing food, or enrich it by making art.

And these jobs are desperately needed. Research commissioned by the Women’s Budget Group (WBG) found there are a total of 122,000 vacancies in adult social care and 1.4m older people with unmet care needs.

And the NHS is facing a devastating staff shortage - even before the trauma of the pandemic there were 106,000 vacancies across the NHS in England, including over 44,000 vacancies in nursing.  

A combination of poor working conditions, low pay, and an increasingly stressful working environment has created these staff shortages. That’s why it’s vital that green jobs are also good jobs.

Green jobs are good jobs

We’re demanding good, green jobs - which means:

  • A decent income
  • Job security
  • Opportunities for progression and training
  • Healthy hours - not too many or too few!
  • Satisfying work that helps us learn and makes use of existing skills
  • An employee voice that provides some level of autonomy and participation 
  • Decent conditions, including sick pay, holiday pay, unionisation and other non-pay entitlements. 

Our Green Jobs For All report estimated that with £68 billion of investment, 1.2 million jobs that meet these minimum requirements can be created over the next two years - in green infrastructure and care work. And that’s just the two sectors we’ve researched! The potential for good green jobs is huge, because there is so much useful work to do in the face of care, climate and unemployment crises.

Who delivers?

For a real green recovery, it’s not just a question of how much is invested, but how those investments are made. Public money should be used for public good, not private profit. That means good, well-paid, secure jobs in organisations owned by and for the public - not unregulated, ‘no-strings-attached’ investment for mega corporations.

We can tackle unemployment and create jobs whilst tackling climate change at the same time. It’s not either/or. Now is the time to rebuild our economy with more nurses, more care workers, more builders and more engineers.  It’s a win win.