In Kirklees, 6068 green jobs could replace jobs lost to Covid in just two years

Outside Huddersfield Job Centre

Today campaigners from across Kirklees formed a jobs queue outside Huddersfield Job Centre. The campaigners, who included people who had been made unemployed during COVID, were dressed as workers in a range of possible green jobs from carers and NHS staff to gardeners, green builders and electric bus mechanics and were holding signs saying ‘Green Jobs For All’.

New research shows that over 6068 jobs could be created in Kirklees across green infrastructure and care work in the next two years. The data, compiled by Green New Deal UK, shows that Kirklees is likely to suffer over 4991 permanent job losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, losses which could be replaced entirely with jobs in new and existing industries. The data includes jobs in sectors like solar energy, offshore wind, social care and energy efficiency – all of which are essential to the UK meeting its national and international climate targets.

Louise Garrett, local organiser, said

“Kirklees has already experienced extreme weather situations from flooding and moorland fires and we know that these will get more frequent with climate change. Kirklees Council itself declared a Climate Emergency in 2019. After the devastating impact of COVID we need to have a resilient future-proof local economy. Investing in energy efficiency would be a great place to start. There is a high proportion of older housing in our area which is crying out for energy efficient retrofits to reduce fuel poverty and make homes comfortable.”

Previous research from Green New Deal UK found that 1.2m green jobs could be created throughout Britain in the next two years at a cost of around £68bn – far less than the £100bn infrastructure investment commitment made last year.

This news comes at the same time that the Government has just cut air passenger duty on domestic flights, frozen fuel duty, invested £27 billion in a roads programme, tried to open a new coal mine and cut £1.5 billion from the flagship home energy efficiency programme.

Louise added:

“Our research shows that you can tackle unemployment and create jobs whilst tackling climate change at the same time.

We know that we can’t afford not to do this. There’s an unemployment crisis and a climate crisis and a Green New Deal can create thousands of good green jobs right here in Kirklees. After the shock and upheaval of COVID we need jobs that will benefit society, tackle inequality and address the climate crisis.  We all know that climate change is going to have a huge impact everywhere and we can’t let people just fall by the wayside.

The Government could invest in these green jobs right now to boost our economic recovery but they are refusing to. If you compare what we are spending to France and Germany and the US we are falling behind what is really needed to tackle unemployment and the recession, let alone sort out climate change.’

Outside Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney’s offices

Notes to editors:
The following job creation figures per constituency contribute to this figure:

ConstituencyTotal jobs created in 2 years
Batley & Spen1358
Colne Valley1742
  • Allowing for expected permanent losses from COVID-19 gives a net job creation total of over 1077 – enough to help soak up the shorter-term employment consequences of the Covid crash.
  • The level of unemployment facing the UK is likely to be at least 2.2 million (6.4%) by December 2021, without further support for the economy [NEF]
  • Nationally, £48.75bn across two years would create nearly 600,000 green infrastructure jobs straight away while helping us transition towards a green economy. 
  • £20 bn across two years invested in the care sector would create 600,000 jobs over the next two years, and nearly 2 million permanent jobs into the future.  
  • With government support elsewhere and wider induced employment impacts from government investment, we believe unemployment numbers could be offset, with jobs outside of the green and care sectors being created to replace them 
  • Schemes to introduce shorter working weeks and reduced hours will help to create additional employment.
  • The report indicates the scale of the ongoing challenge for government, even with a significant boost to investment spending in the short-term, and the likely future consequences of a pandemic-constrained world. 

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