Andrew Gwynne, the Labour candidate for Denton and Reddish, has welcomed Labour’s pledge to create a climate apprenticeship programme to deliver 320,000 apprenticeships in England during its first term in government.
The policy was announced today (Monday) by Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn during a speech to the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) and would create 886,000 apprenticeships by 2030.
Britain has a severe skills shortage, particularly in higher technical skills. Two-thirds of businesses already worry they won’t be able to fill skilled posts and the skills gap will only grow due to automation and the need to respond to climate change.
Climate Apprenticeships would upskill the UK workforce so that UK companies can compete and succeed in the new economy.
Businesses would benefit from an average of 80,000 people per year being trained as apprentice engineers and technicians in renewable energy and transport, civil engineers and skilled tradespeople in sustainable construction, designers, welders and fabricators in low carbon industries, and sustainable agriculture and forestry specialists. Climate Apprenticeships would be open to new starters and those wanting to retrain.
Climate Apprenticeships will be funded by diverting 25 per cent of the funds employers already set aside through the Apprenticeship Levy and topped up by any dividends over the cap paid into Labour’s Inclusive Ownership Funds – expected to be £700 million by 2024.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“The world is changing fast and – with it – the world of work. That’s why it’s so vitally important that, as a country, we are prepared for the challenges and opportunities that come from these changes.
“Climate change is obviously one of these challenges and Climate Apprenticeships offer a fantastic opportunity to address both the climate emergency and Britain’s skills shortages at the same time.
“These apprenticeships will be at the heart of Labour’s Green Industrial Revolution.”