Wigan could be in line for green jobs bonanza
Almost 1,700 new roles could be created in the borough over the next two years, campaigners are claiming.
Data compiled by Green New Deal UK suggests the borough is likely to see the loss of around 1,173 permanent roles due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, campaigners say that 1,698 jobs could be created across green infrastructure and care work in Wigan.
It says borough residents need support to retrain and reskill and is calling on the local authority to have a plan in place to support them and their livelihoods in this transition.
Green New Deal UK suggests green and care work jobs could help create work to move the borough away from industries of the past.
The campaigners also say Wigan has a lot of older housing stock that could do with retrofitting to be more energy efficient and this could also be a source of eco-friendly work.
Wigan Council said it is working to grow a low-energy, environmentally-friendly economy which will be good for local businesses.
As well as the local authority the environmental movement says ministers at Westminster need to do far more to support the move towards a less polluting economy.
A Green New Deal UK spokesperson said: “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 Wigan.
“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.”
Wigan Council said it has already made its housing stock greener and installed streetlights which are more energy efficient and lower emissions.
Chloe Taylor, assistant director for skills and enterprise at the town hall, said: “The drive for drastic reduction in carbon emissions will not only be good for our borough but will also untap significant opportunities for local businesses.
“Through our community wealth building partnership in Wigan we are working with local businesses to foster and grow the green, low carbon business sector in the borough so that it has the capacity, knowledge and skills to be in a position to take on these opportunities.
“There is also a huge amount we can do together with skills providers including using the apprenticeship levy to grow the sector.
“We are also working with schools to shape young people’s aspirations and develop careers advice on green jobs and ways into them.”
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