Jean believes we can – and must – create thousands of ‘green jobs’ in the capital to help tackle the environmental and economic challenges we face: creating jobs while tackling climate change.
Here, she explains briefly what she means by ‘a green job’:
Jean has published a report, Green Work: Employment and Skills – the climate change challenge. The publication calls for greater investment in green industries and skills for workers to help transform the UK to a low-carbon economy.
It found there is huge potential for job creation in green industries like wind and solar power, which is not yet being exploited. The report also warns of a skills gap in the UK which will hold back our ability to capitalise on the green revolution unless it is addressed now.
Jean Lambert MEP, who sits on the European Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee, said:
“The UK renewable energy programme is likely to be hit by skills shortages unless the Government revitalises apprenticeships, working with SMEs and ensuring employer buy-in to overcome to the skills gaps.
“Clearly what is needed is a comprehensive green skills action plan for the renewables sector, delivered with significant state funding. It is essential to increase the pool of people with STEM qualifications – science, technology, engineering and maths – for subsequent training in specialised green industries, such as renewable energy.”
The report also recognises the importance of greening existing industries. One key way to help achieve this is through the engagement of Trade Union Green Representatives.
Jean has also called on Governments and the European Commission to legally recognise green trade union representatives in the workplace. The idea has been championed by trade unions as a way to deliver greener workplaces through collective agreements between employers, employees and unions.
Just as unions and employers work together to improve health and safety in the workplace, appointed union green representatives champion green issues.
Jean Lambert, continued:
“Dedicated union green reps have the potential to raise awareness of environmental issues and help to change behaviour in the workplace. They would also help deliver significant environmental improvements through engagement between employers and the workforce that will help the UK shift to a low carbon economy.
“There is huge potential for trade union members to play a significant role as green representatives at work, but to perform their role effectively they need legal recognition and the right to undertake relevant training and duties.”
Building our green economic future
In 2013 she hosted a conference to discuss green jobs at London’s Congress House, with speakers including TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady. For more detail, see the press release here.