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Green Jobs Revolution Should Start With Gen Z, Here’s Why:

3 min

c. ahydrojobs, Climate Action
According to the Energy Network’s Association, £6.8 billion worth of investment in hydrogen projects will result in a green jobs boom over the next decade. Quadrant Smart looks at how this will be implemented and how it could create over 25,000 jobs.

Five of the major gas networks in the UK plan to develop hydrogen grids across the nation. If plans go ahead, huge levels of carbon emissions will be reduced from Britain’s biggest six industrial clusters.

This will bring opportunities to boost green jobs in the sector with an estimated 13000 jobs from network companies. This could be advanced to a further 11,400 jobs through supply chains across the country.

Quadrant Smart spoke to Assiah Hamed, a recent graduate looking to find work in the green sector. She said: “It is important for young people to tap into the green industry market. I think right now with everything happening regarding climate change, more young people need to be not only motivated but have access to these jobs.”

Young people should be prioritised for green jobs

This is an even more important aspect when regarding disenfranchised communities. As it currently stands, 3.5% of people working in the green industry are from an ethnic minority.

Research conducted by the University of Leicester and Nottingham suggests that “every month of unemployment leads to a 1.2% loss of earnings throughout a career.”

Pair this with the fact that in 2020 unemployment rate was 14.6%, there is a clear need to include young people at the forefront of green jobs.

Adding to this, youth unemployment recovers following a major recession because of a lack of work experience, a lack of access to networks and experience difficulty competing against older applicants.

Through increased graduate schemes and access to industry courses, it is hoped that this gap in representation is plugged over the coming years.

Investing across the hydrogen sector is the key to success

The companies are set to invest £4.4 billion into producing, storing, and distributing hydrogen while capturing and storing carbon from heavy manufacturing industries.

Further funding will be dedicated to researching how best to repurpose existing pipelines to be hydrogen ready. This will allow the gas network to transition to hydrogen faster and meet government targets.

Money will be pumped into the deployment phase of hydrogen vehicles and ensuring that hydrogen can be integrated across multiple sectors to provide a hydrogen network.

The investment plans are awaiting approval from the energy regulator Ofgem. If accepted the plans will begin rolling out over the coming years.

Chris Train, ENA’s Gas Goes Green champion, said: “For the first time, this report sets out the sheer size and scale of the economic and social opportunities that hydrogen innovation can deliver over the next ten years, creating new green, hydrogen super-skills in communities and companies across the country.”

Hydrogen has a huge role to play in the fight for net-zero, but it also plays a crucial role in ensuring the next generation of the workforce is ready to build on progress made.