Next week the All Part Parliamentary Groups representing Housing in the North and Housing and Social Mobility will join forces to host the event ‘Green Jobs, Housing, and Skills’. The event will see Government Ministers, industry stakeholders, and Parliamentarians discuss how to advance the huge job creation potential offered by decarbonising our existing homes.
The event’s inception can be traced to January 2021, where the APPG for Housing in the North launched its rolling focus looking at the ways housing can support the Government’s priorities of achieving net zero, levelling up the regions, and building back better from the Coronavirus pandemic.
At the session, parliamentarians were joined by IPPR North outlining their research, supported by the Northern Housing Consortium, on the environmental and economic stimulus brought about by investing in retrofitting the North’s traditionally older, colder homes.
Decarbonising these homes, as put forward by IPPR North, would lead to the job creation of c.77,000 jobs in the North of England by 2035. It was noted that these figures were extrapolated from research by IPPR indicating that a national programme of similar home improvement works would create c.325,000 jobs in the United Kingdom by 2035, with every region benefitting from associated growth in local enterprises and the wider supply chain.
Subsequent discussion between APPG members centred on the current barriers to scaling up the retrofit supply chain and realising this job creation potential. The industry required to take on the challenge of decarbonising existing homes is emergent as demand from customers is still in a latent phase. At the same time, there are not yet enough workers with the requisite levels of skills, training, and accreditation to take on the scale of home improvements outlined.
The role of the social housing sector was here considered as a route to driving expansion in necessary industries. Social Housing providers are likely to be early adopters of retrofit technology given their role as stock owners and managers of property conditions across neighbourhoods, the sector also has a demonstrable historic capacity to deliver home improvement projects. Equally, social housing providers have a vested interest in driving skills and demand in their own organisations including supporting residents into secure livelihoods. Investing first in decarbonising social rented homes could thus offer a ‘catalytic role’, unlocking the decarbonisation of other tenures by driving supply chain growth, pushing down costs, and driving up skills development over time.
The meeting is open to all observers, and more information, including how to confirm your attendance, can be found here: