Green Skills at Work

Investing in green sustainable skills and jobs will be vital for the recovery benefiting workers, communities and future generations.

Wind turbine production

Climate change is the biggest issue of the 21st century and the environmental issues surrounding impact on workplaces and jobs. Unions are working together and forming partnerships to tackle this and ensuring that workers have an opportunity to develop the new skills needed for a net-zero carbon economy and a just transition.

Developing green skills at work has the potential to offer a wide range of exciting opportunities to workers across the UK, and the trade union movement will be leading the way in supporting the fight against climate change and helping workers build the skills that will be part of the solution.

The “Cutting Carbon, Growing Skills - green skills for a just transition" publication from unionlearn explains the facts around what just transition is and what unions are doing to ensure their members are not left behind. It also explores the role of the trade union green or environmental rep, the training available and the skills that will be needed in the future.

In May 2020 the TUC’sA Better Recovery” publication looked at the lessons of the corona crisis and one central element of the document is a call for a Green Recovery that will deliver a just transition by investing in the skills of the workforce.

Union Initiatives

Unions have facilitated the development of trade union policy and operational responses to the green economy.

TUC Yorkshire and Humber has set up a Low Carbon Task Force to bring together all the key partners in the region to help develop a regional low carbon transition plan: unions, business, Local Enterprise Partnerships and environmental groups.

The TUC LESE Environmental Sustainability and Just Transition Network brings members together from different industries and occupations in the London, East and South East to look at climate justice as a trade union issue, examine how workers can effect and are effected by climate change, how we plan for a just transition and fair low carbon future for all and how we can work collectively to achieve climate justice.

TUC South West recently organised a Going Green at Work event in Bristol to give trade union members, activists, officers and workplace reps more and new ideas and solutions that help collectively tackle the climate emergency. Following this TUC Education in the region organised a Green Reps course.

Unions including UCU, PCS and UNISON have formed the Greener Jobs Alliance which is focusing its attention on building trade union activities in localities and regions and influencing the curriculum of schools, further and higher education. The Greener Jobs Alliance pages now have a number of free e-learning courses around environmental issues aimed at union members.

Many unions run Green or Environmental Reps training courses to give members the skills they need to negotiation environmental polices at work. If this is an area you are interested first approach you Union Learning Rep to see what is on offer.

Cutting Carbon, Growing Skills

The “Cutting Carbon, Growing Skills” publication from unionlearn explains the facts around what just transition is and what unions are doing to ensure their members are not left behind. It also explores the role of the trade union green or environmental rep, the training available and the skills that will be needed in the future.