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‘Green collar’ jobs key to UK manufacturing

The UK government claims hundreds of thousands of ‘green collar jobs’ can be created by putting investment in the manufacture and production of low carbon technology.

Business minister John Hutton has set out a new strategy today for the UK manufacturing industry, setting out how it can ride out the economic slowdown and once again become a key part of the UK economy (bit late for that isn’t it, lads?).

There’s the usual lots of vague platitudes and not a lot of money behind this – just £150m “of medium-term” support for the sector, but here are the details on the low carbon bit.

The government says a low carbon industrial strategy next year will “address the challenges facing manufacturers as they try to reduce their carbon footprint and the huge opportunities from investment in energy and a shift to a low carbon economy”.

And a new Office for Renewable Energy Deployment will be established to “address barriers to renewables deployment including helping to develop the UK supply chain”.

Hutton says:

“We are the world’s sixth largest manufacturer – the industry accounts for over half our exports, contributes £150 bn to the economy and around three million jobs. But we need to recognise that the global landscape is changing so we can help UK manufacturers stay ahead of the game. I want the UK to be at the forefront of opportunities opened up by the move towards a low carbon economy. With the right support in place, we can grow our nuclear and renewables industries to become world-leaders in green technologies, supporting hundreds of thousands of green collar jobs.”

Nice words but with all the hot air in the atmosphere right now the last thing we need is even more.

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