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Realising a net-zero economy for the UK will require millions of employees to train or re-train to meet the demands of a new decarbonised industrial landscape and prepare for the jobs of the future.
As the UK’s largest steelmaker Tata Steel has been asked to assist government in drawing up plans which would see employees, many of whom are currently in high-emission industries, retrained as businesses accelerate towards meeting net-zero targets.
At the same time the plans will look at how future generations can access the education and skills they need to succeed and drive the pace to support a net-zero economy.
Tata Steel’s representative on the newly announced Green Jobs Taskforce, Tor Farquhar, Executive Director of Human Resources, said: “Preparing for a CO2 neutral future is about more than just investing in new technology – it is about ensuring all employees have the skills they need now to create the change we all need.
“We, like many other companies, already have a highly-skilled workforce who – with the right support – will be able to ensure the UK decarbonises at pace.”
And he added: “It is important that as we make this transition we take our employees and their trade union representatives with us”
Chair of the National Trade Union Steel Coordinating Committee, and General Secretary of Community, Roy Rickhuss said: “We welcome the Green Jobs Taskforce and are pleased the steel industry will be represented in this important initiative to help the workforce adapt to a low carbon future.
“Any green strategy for industry must mean an increase in high-quality employment opportunities and contribute to levelling up by supporting industrial communities across the UK.”
And he added: “Our steelworkers are already highly-skilled and are the best there is. Government, employers and unions must work together to develop a framework of support that will ensure we can make green and world-leading steels for generations to come.”
The Green Jobs Taskforce, led by UK Government Energy Minister, Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, and Skills Minister, Gillian Keegan MP, is expected to work through until Spring 2021. Workstreams operating under the leadership of taskforce members, and harnessing additional expertise from their own organisations and networks, will produce actionable plans and policy recommendations for government to support delivery of the skills needed, and the opportunities that can be created, by a greener industrial future.
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Tata Steel is one of Europe's leading steel producers, with steelmaking in the Netherlands and the UK, and manufacturing plants across Europe. The company supplies high-quality steel products to the most demanding markets, including construction and infrastructure, automotive, packaging and engineering. Tata Steel works with customers to develop new steel products which give them a competitive edge. The Tata Steel group is among the top global steel companies with an annual crude steel capacity of 34 million tonnes. It is one of the world's most geographically-diversified steel producers, with operations and a commercial presence across the world. The group’s turnover (excluding its South East Asia operations) in the year ending 31 March 2020 was US $19.7 billion.