Jobs, skills and training for a Just Transition to a low carbon economy

If there was ever a testbed for modern industrial strategy fit for the future, it’s in the Yorkshire and Humber region. Unions are the forefront of devising a transition plan and TUC Yorkshire and Humber are running a free course for reps that will explore the issues around a Just Transition to a low carbon economy.  

Just Transition for trade unionists

This new training course for workplace reps from the manufacturing, power and other sectors will be running in Leeds in November, supported by the region’s Low Carbon Task Force. It is designed to support workplace reps to plan and negotiate for a low-carbon future for the region, especially focusing on defending 28,000 jobs in our energy intensive industries.

The two-day course takes place on Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th November at the PCS offices in Leeds.

Bill Adams, Regional Secretary, TUC Yorkshire and Humber, said:

Trade unions are first and foremost about jobs – let’s not have a replay of the times when we were not asked, or refused, to get involved.” 

Gail Cartmail, AGS, Unite, said:

Climate change is the greatest challenge of our times – we need to take action for future generations, to protect food and water. Trade unions should ensure this catastrophe is not left to unfold - get involved in specific areas of discussion, so that no working people lose out.”


The Yorkshire and Humber region has probably the highest concentration of the UK’s foundation industries and coal and gas power stations in the UK. This includes major power plants like Drax, as well as steel, cement and chemical works, glass manufacturers, and heavy energy users in brewing and food manufacture.

The regional TUC reckons that up to 28,000 people work in these major plants, and three or four times as many in their supply chains.  No UK region has a bigger carbon footprint than this, because of the energy these industries either supply or use. 

The course is designed to stimulate responses to the question: “How to protect and develop our foundation industries and deliver the jobs, skills and training for a just transition to a low carbon economy?” 

It will help to equip trades unions and workers with information and ideas about how to respond to the implementation of the Government’s Industrial and Clean Growth policies. One thing is for sure – ‘business as usual’ is not a viable strategy.

The course covers the following:

  • Identify industrial and energy policy in the region and in each sector represented on the course
  • Review what national and international climate change policy means for your workplace and the region
  • Review trade union policies - regional, national and international
  • Map the region’s energy use
  • Understand why a Just Transition is central to your workplace and to the region’s future job security and economic strategy
  • Evaluate renewable energy and energy reduction options where you work
  • Assess the implications for skills and training where you work
  • Develop a negotiating strategy with your employer 

The course is open to all interested trade union participants, and those acting as workplace reps in industrial workplaces in Yorkshire and Humber will particularly benefit.

The course is free and runs from 9.30 – 4.00 on 26th and 27th November, being held at PCS, Town Centre House, Merrion Centre LS2 8LY
. To register for “Just Transition for trade unionists” go to the Eventbrite page.