The UK government has announced that it has scrapped its flagship green homes grant scheme.
The much-promoted grants scheme to help householders in England insulate their home will be stopped this week, and the money allocated to a seperate insulation fund run by councils.
While the announcement of the ending of the green homes grant comes as a body blow to all involved in the UK’s retrofit industry, the government can still take action to create thousands of local green jobs around the UK, with Climate solutions charity Ashden calling for a revolution in green skills training.
Politicians must commit to long term tailored investment in green skills. If they do not, the UK will not achieve zero carbon by 2050, and many workers will face a precarious future, ill-equipped to meet the demands of tomorrow’s job market.
In Autumn 2020 Ashden consulted 20 experts across the low carbon heat and retrofit sector about this issue and launched a green skills award to uncover best practice across the UK. Insights from the consultation feature in a new Ashden report published tomorrow (29 Mar), Green skills: training UK workers for tomorrow’s job market, which will confirm that funding for green skills training is too low, too short-term, and not local enough.
“The government has legal commitments to meet zero carbon – this is not a choice,” says Ashden CEO, Harriet Lamb. “But the stop-start history of its commitment to providing grants for making homes more energy efficient is undermining confidence within the industry. Companies that have taken on the retrofit challenge are scared of entering the market when the government has pulled the rug out from under their feet too many times. The government has created a self-fulfilling prophesy of failure. It is crucial they turn this around through a long term, stable policy including investing in training.”