Green and Hydrogen Jobs Report Outlines Critical Steps for Region’s green economy

Date posted: September 13, 2023
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A new report from the Midlands Engine on Green and Hydrogen Jobs in the Midlands has set out a series of recommendations on improving the prevalence of these types of employment in the region.

The report, authored with the HyDEX partnership and Warwick Institute for Employment Research (IER), calls for:

  • The greening of jobs in non-green sectors
  • Targeted efforts towards more inclusive green employment – focusing on age and gender
  • Routine monitoring of the green economy and green employment
  • Further qualitative research to improve our understanding of the sector

The report distinguishes between three types of green jobs – ‘New and Emerging Occupations’ or pure green jobs which are completely novel (e.g. solar system technicians); ‘Enhanced Skills and Knowledge Occupations’ which captures the greening of some existing jobs as their worker requirements change (e.g. architects now need knowledge of energy-efficient materials); and ‘Increased Demand Occupations’ which result when green economy activities increase employment demand for already existing occupations (e.g. electric power line installers).

And the report’s recommendations are based on findings that up to 3.9% of all Midlands employment can be classified as “New and Emerging Occupations” or pure green employment that has come into existence as a direct result of the growth and development of the green economy. What’s more, 41.9% of all employment in the Midlands can be classified as green jobs – including “Enhanced Skills & Knowledge Occupations” and “Increased Demand Occupations” reflecting existing jobs which  contribute to green activities and those that are considerably influenced by the green economy. Meanwhile up to 44.2% of online job vacancies can be categorised as green.

Hydrogen-related green jobs predominantly involve occupations which could be transitioned to hydrogen jobs or to support the hydrogen industry like electrical fitters and software development professionals. In the Midlands, these make up 9.5% of employment and saw an 18% increase from 2014-2022. Though the quantity of online vacancies which explicitly mention the word ‘hydrogen’ are relatively small, they have also been increasing since end-2020. Of all vacancies that mentioned hydrogen in the UK since end-2020, on average, 17% of these were in the Midlands. However, compared to total number of job vacancies in the Midlands, the share that explicitly mentioned ‘hydrogen’ only accounts for 0.08%.

This report found the region’s green jobs are mostly clustered among professional occupations, skills trade occupations, and process, plant and machine operatives, with a larger share of green employment in construction, engineering, manufacturing and transport industries in the Midlands than in the rest of the UK. Similarly, 50% of hydrogen-related jobs were in manufacturing, construction, and professional, scientific and technical sectors.

The findings provide a baseline for monitoring progress towards green ambitions in the Midlands and suggest that the region is building from a solid foundation. Given the number of hydrogen-ready green jobs, the Midlands is well placed to embrace the growing hydrogen economy.

Read the full report here

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