North West sees year on year increase in ‘green job’ vacancies

Adam Waller

The number of ‘green jobs’ has grown across the North West over the past year.

The region has seen the number of green jobs as a proportion of all job adverts increase year on year from 2.3% to 2.54%, according to PwC’s latest Green Jobs Barometer.

New data shows the region remained in third place for the second year running, with only the South West (2.67%) and Scotland (4.04%) performing better.

The most successful sectors for green jobs in the North West include the financial and insurance activities sector, which saw a 32.9% increase in the number of green jobs advertised.

Across the region, the North West performed better than Yorkshire and the Humber (2.07%) and the North East (1.93%).

Adam Waller, PwC UK’s ESG lead for the North and Manchester’s market senior partner, said: “The North’s focus on green growth continues to be of critical importance, but tough economic conditions have impacted job creation across the majority of the country. We’ve seen green investment across the region, but the data from our Green Jobs Barometer shows that the dividends of these investments can take time to show.

“The availability of relevant skills continues to be a barrier to the green economy – we must keep analysing what kind of jobs are being created, and how we can upskill and reskill the workforce. These roles are critical in meeting climate targets and will ensure that green growth is spread fairly across the UK.”

Across the UK, the number of green jobs advertised has fallen from the record levels recorded in 2022, albeit at a smaller rate than the decline seen in the UK’s job market overall.

High interest rates and a challenging economic backdrop have seen the number of total advertised roles fall by 29%, while the number of green jobs fell by 26%.

This degree of resilience of green jobs has seen their share of the UK labour market increase to 2.3% – up from 2.2% in 2022 and 1.9% in 2021. However, when accounting for the number of green jobs required across the economy to power the UK’s transition to net zero by 2050, this deceleration in overall demand, in the face of a cooling labour market, poses a potential challenge.

PwC’s Green Jobs Barometer, now in its third year, has identified for the first time that green jobs tend to be higher quality jobs, reflecting both higher levels of pay and greater levels of job satisfaction compared with non-green roles.

The higher level of pay is not simply a reflection of the skills required. The Barometer has also detected a pay premium for many entry level jobs, with 60% of occupations commanding a 23% pay premium on average for entry level green roles. The Barometer also highlighted that green jobs tend to require longer working hours and are slightly more likely than non-green roles to be based on temporary employment contracts.

Carl Sizer, head of regions and platforms at PwC, said: “Green jobs are a good proxy for the greening of the economy.

“That green jobs account for a growing proportion of the jobs market is encouraging, but we need to see a significant increase in new green jobs to meet net zero goals. A drop in the number of advertised roles is concerning given the scale of what needs to be achieved.

“It’s more important than ever to ensure that the transition towards a low carbon economy brings workers and communities with it. Our research also points to the benefits of green jobs for workers, with better pay and job satisfaction, but highlights different sectors and regions that stand to be affected differently.

“Concerted effort will be needed to spread the benefits of green jobs and a green economy.”