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05 Feb 2021 | 08:51

UK's green plan for homes could boost labour market post-pandemic

(Sharecast News) - The UK's Sustainable Building Services plan could boost the labour market's recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic as vacancies for architects, surveyors, administrators and accountants need filling. Derek Horrocks, the leader of the plan told the Guardian that 2020 was hard in terms of redundancies as government plans to insulate British homes were put on hold.

"For the first time in a long time we can see a positive picture," he said.

He said he expects to employ an extra 50 headquarter staff to cope with increasing business from the government's "10-point plan for a green industrial revolution" and the shift to greener buildings.

Horrocks said that finding workers could be complicated as the construction industry has a reputation of giving irregular work and having a hire and fire system.

"The industry is not the first choice for young people. It is not considered a desirable career. And that will only change if we reach out and convince them there are lots of opportunities in this green business," he said.

According to the Guardian, it remained unclear if the transition to greener options in manufacturing would indeed provide more jobs. That was because factories were largely automated so job numbers were likely to stay the same.

There were also concerns about projections that temporary green jobs could fill vacancies that arose in the transition to sustainable options. Some believed it unlikely that workers could make a career out of those new roles.

Michael Pollitt, a business economist at the Judge Business school, Cambridge University, said that whereas 35 jobs were created in the broader recycling industry for every £1m invested, the average for "green jobs" was five per £1m invested.

In the Prime Minister's green plan, launched last November, Johnson said he wanted to create 250,000 jobs by 2030 in sectors such as hydrogen technology, wind farms, nuclear stations and cutting carbon emissions in 26m homes.

It was also expected that part of the £3bn post-pandemic green package, which had also been announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak last year, would support the 10-point plan.

At the moment, the government's Green Homes Grant (GHG), was the main scheme that was already operational following its launch in September of 2020.

Under the scheme, homeowners are provided with two-thirds of the cost of energy-efficient improvements, up to a maximum of £5,000 a household, or the full cost up to £10,000 if residents have low incomes.
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