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Businesses Pledge to Step Up Drive for Net Zero Job Opportunities Across the North West

Net Zero Projects and Investments across the North West have the potential to create 300,000 new and safeguarded jobs within the region.

To mark the one-year anniversary of COP26, a new Charter was launched yesterday (Wednesday, November 23) at the Great Northern Conference taking place in Manchester. The North West Net Zero Skill Charter will help businesses to step up to ensure these new opportunities can be harnessed for the benefit of communities and people across the region.

The Charter uses a Net Zero lens to articulate the skills and capabilities that are most important for businesses seeking to recruit new workers. The goal is to ensure skills providers are clear about what is required of them. Crucially, it also contains a commitment from businesses across the region to step up to support the upskilling of the region’s workforce.

The design of the new North West Net Zero Skill Charter has been led by the North West Business Leadership Team in partnership with Net Zero North West, Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Chester.

The Charter commits all who sign up to:

  • Consider what Net Zero means for our business – operationally and in terms of future products, services, and supply chains.
  • Consider what impact these changes might have on job roles and key competencies including across leadership teams.
  • Support the skills system, through positive engagement, and practical assistance.
  • Be a champion for the transition to Net Zero, clearly articulating the commitment to Net Zero within the values and purpose of each organisation.
  • Encourage all employees to adopt a Net Zero mindset.
  • Encourage Net Zero literacy training to be rolled out to all employees (shop floor to board level).
  • Spread learning through every supply chain.

A copy of the Charter can be downloaded here.

Professor Eunice Simmons, Chair of NWBLT’s People & Skills Group and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Chester:

“The challenge of achieving a net zero region by 2040 is huge. However, it also brings with it great opportunity for the North West in terms of good green jobs – many of these jobs already exists within our businesses and others are just waiting to be created. The commitments within the Charter will help ensure that the North West grasps all the opportunities being presented to it to meet the net zero challenge – and deliver better growth for all.”

Carl Ennis, Chair of Net Zero NW and Chief Executive of Siemens UK and Ireland:

‘“The North West is already leading the UK’s net zero future, slashing carbon emissions and carving a new path by creating a green industrial economy with a workforce of over 660,000. However, the availability of the right skills will be a significant risk to reaching our climate goals if we don’t act now.

“The joined-up approach that the Net Zero Skills Charter aims to deliver, will ensure we set the blueprint for how to train and retain low carbon talent in the region, and then export that expertise out to the rest of the UK, Europe and the world.”

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of Liverpool City Region:

“Climate change is the single greatest challenge facing all our futures – and it’s one that must be met with an immediate, collective response. Like our neighbours across the North, the Liverpool City Region is in the race to decarbonise – and I want to ensure that our journey to reaching net zero is a force for good, not only for our planet, but for our people too.

“If trains, docks and canals made us the gateway to the first industrial revolution, then our natural assets and advantages in wind, tidal and hydrogen can make us leader of the Green Industrial Revolution. I want our region to be in the best position to take advantage of the thousands of jobs, training and investment opportunities in the industries of tomorrow. With every challenge comes opportunity – and I’m committed to making sure we harness every opportunity that comes our way.”

Emma Degg, CEO, NWBLT:
“While we know that new net zero investments have the potential to create new employment opportunities for local people, this will only happen if we work closely together. That means business stepping up to do our bit to inspire young people, reach out to diverse communities and those who have been previously left behind, and invest in the training of our own workforces.

“We have a brilliant opportunity to deliver a fairer economy and net zero at the same time – but only if we work in a purposeful way towards that goal.”