Worrying findings in first check into green jobs market

3 December 2021

Describing it as a first-of-its-kind analysis, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has launched its “Green Jobs Barometer”, tracking movements in green job creation, job loss, carbon intensity of employment and worker sentiment across regions and sectors.

Available at www.pwc.co.uk/who-we-are/our-purpose/building-trust-in-the-climate-transition/supporting-a-fair-transition/green-jobs-barometer.html, the new survey aims to build an evidence base to assess and support a fair transition to net zero.

It shows that the transformation to a net zero economy is feeding through to the employment market, accounting for 1.2% of total advertised jobs, equating to 124,600 new jobs, for the year to July 2021.

However disparities are already arising in how the transition to greener jobs is affecting different parts of the UK.

Chairman and Senior Partner at PwC, Kevin Ellis, said: “Left unchecked, green employment will grow in the most fertile spots, but not necessarily where they’re needed most. Our research indicates where support and investment needs to be targeted.”

Yorkshire & the Humber, Northern Ireland and Wales are the lowest ranking regions across all aspects of the Green Jobs Barometer. Scotland and London are the top performers.

The research also highlights workers’ fears about the impact of the net zero transition, with 5% expecting that their job will disappear during the transition, which would equate to 1.7 million jobs.

PwC’s analysis suggests this figure is likely higher than the eventual reality, as many jobs will be easily repurposed for a green economy, and will be easily surpassed by new green jobs - creating a Net Jobs gain.

“By acting now,” Mr Ellis concluded, “we have a massive opportunity to rebalance the economy and ensure a fair transition.”

Comment by Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director at Peninsula

An effective sustainability policy and tailored initiatives can support the development of positive company culture.

Engraining sustainability into day-to-day practices make employees feel like they are contributing towards wider society, which in turn improves motivation and productivity.

Doing so also helps with loyalty since employees feel rewarded and valued for the work they do. However, there is limited awareness at the moment of “green” jobs and the availability of these.

Whilst PwC’s new monitoring system will be greatly beneficial in identifying areas which have low uptake of such green jobs, employers must be pro-active in checking this and comparing information against their internal practices.