UKYCC pressures government on youth green jobs ahead of budget

By John Parnell

The UKYCC campaign will launch just as George Osborne delivers the UK budget. (Source: Conservative Business Relations)

A new campaign calling for green jobs for young people will launch tomorrow to coincide with the UK budget speech.

As the country’s chancellor, George Osborne, reveals his economic plans for the country, the UK Youth Climate Coalition will launch its Youth for Green Jobs initiative.

“Whatever happens with the climate crisis, we are going to move to a low-carbon economy. Perhaps future jobs is a better expression than green jobs because we are going to make this transition,” said Luke Hughes, campaign and research officer, UKYCC.

“We have noted the combined problems that the country currently faces; the economy; climate change and unemployment. The UKYCC is trying to get young people engaged with positive climate change solutions. This campaign should tackle both,” he added.

The UK government has already announced a £1bn scheme to fund apprenticeships and training for young people and Hughes sees no reason why a green element cannot be bolted onto this project.

“The campaign is not dependent on a huge green shift from the government, we’re tapping into messages about the wider economy and tackling huge youth unemployment figures. I don’t think anyone would consider that a bad idea,” said Hughes.

What is a green job anyway?

The UK budget, announced on Wednesday, March 21, is expected to include painful news on many environmental issues. While much of the media attention has focused on tax bandings for high-earners, Hughes wants unemployment to play a prominent role in Chancellor Osborne’s plans.

“Green jobs doesn’t just mean insulating houses or installing solar panels for people. It means jobs that do or should have a sustainable element involved. That could be town planning or construction to more indirect definitions, such as working within fashion to encourage sustainable practices and materials,” said Hughes.

The UK has outlined a detailed plan to transition to a low-carbon economy in order to meet its climate change obligations and boost its flagging economy.

Youth unemployment (16-24 year-olds) currently stands at a record 1.042 million, or 22.5%.

VIDEO: UKYCC ask the British public what they think a green job is…

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