Wales has made more progress towards a greener jobs market than any other part of the UK, according to PwC’s latest Green Jobs Barometer, climbing from 11th to 3rd in the rankings.
The Barometer tracks movements in green job creation, job loss, carbon intensity of employment and worker sentiment across regions and sectors. In the 2021 edition, Wales ranked second-last; however improvements across the five key metrics have seen it jump up the rankings to third, behind only London and Scotland.
Wales has also seen the largest drop in CO2 emissions per worker of any of the UK’s nations and English regions in the last year, according to data from PwC’s annual Green Jobs Barometer.
The proportion of green jobs advertised in Wales has nearly doubled in a year, with 2.24% of roles advertised seeking to produce or provide environmentally friendly products and services, or adapt work processes to become more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources. The increase is driven by strong demand for green roles in manufacturing, construction and professional services, coupled with a 30% increase in the overall number of jobs advertised. In contrast, the growth in green job adverts was 125%.
John-Paul Barker, Regional Market Leader for Wales and the West of England, said:
“In last year’s Barometer, Wales lagged behind much of the rest of the UK; we identified the risk of missing out on the opportunity to be at the forefront of the UK’s transition to a net zero economy – and to leverage it as a transformative force for the nation’s future.
“Wales’ improvement in the space of 12 months is an indication of the willingness of organisations across the private and public sectors to work together to address this generational challenge.
“In my conversations with Welsh leaders in the public and private sectors, the desire to find ways to collaborate to find solutions at a local level has come up time and again. A key area where we need to work together is at the interface between businesses and education providers – ensuring that we are harnessing young people’s passion for the environment and creating the skills Wales will need to thrive in a net zero world.”
Carl Sizer, PwC UK’s Head of Regions, commented:
“The huge growth in green jobs over the last year illustrates how we are creating a Green Britain. One year on, our Green Jobs Barometer has shone a light on the regions and sectors where these jobs are being created.
“While Wales and Scotland are among the top performers, it’s striking that one in five new green roles are based in London. If growth continues on this trajectory, the compounding effect means the green economy will increase London’s dominance over other cities and regions. If we want to meet our Net Zero ambitions while driving growth, then the green economy needs to be nationwide.
“This year’s Barometer shows that many green jobs are in professional and scientific roles, while there is an ever-growing gap in new green trades jobs which are equally vital to net zero plans.
“We must therefore be conscious that this is not just a story of job creation, but also one that highlights the critical requirement for upskilling and training to prepare the UK workforce for the jobs that will realise the country’s ambitions. This will need significant investment – for example, our data shows that between 10,000 and 66,000 new tradespeople will be needed each year to retrofit the 29 million homes with low EPC ratings.”
Welsh Government Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said:
“The Welsh Government is determined to do all we can to address the impact of the global climate emergency on our society.
“A key part of this is supporting industry to decarbonise, future proofing the skills of our talented Welsh workforce to create the fairer, greener and more equal Wales we all want to see.
“In the current climate of spiralling energy costs, this is more important than ever and I welcome PwC’s report which demonstrates the significant strides we are taking in accelerating the decarbonisation of Welsh businesses and industry.
“It is good to see the results of the hard work of businesses across Wales, but we know there is much more to be done. We will continue working closely with business and industry on this agenda so we can collectively work to meet our ambitious net zero targets by 2050.”
The UK picture
Green jobs are growing around four times the rate of the overall UK employment market, with 2.2% of all new jobs classed as green. However more than one-third of these roles are now based in London and the South East, with a dominance of professional and scientific roles.
The second edition of PwC’s Green Jobs Barometer has found that the number of green jobs advertised in the UK has almost trebled in the last year, equating to 336,000 positions, providing encouragement that the economy is becoming greener.
The Green Jobs Barometer, which first launched in November 2021, tracks movements in green job creation, job loss, carbon intensity of employment, and worker sentiment across regions and sectors.
In the year to June 2022, every region of the UK saw green jobs accounting for a greater share of the job market, and the number of green jobs at least double in absolute terms.