Labour proposes new climate apprenticeships programme and apprenticeship levy reforms
The Labour party has pledged to form a new climate apprenticeship programme which will “upskill” the workforce by an average of 80,000 people annually and make the UK fit to compete in a new, green economy.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is due to address business leaders at the Confederation of British Industry annual conference later on Monday, where he will say in his speech:
“Labour’s Green Industrial Revolution will be a central motor of the party’s plans to transform our country and economy, using public investment to create good, clean jobs, tackle the climate emergency and rebuild held back towns, cities and communities.”
As part of its promises, Labour has pledged to make changes to the existing apprenticeship levy to address the skills gap which has been criticised by both employers and workers.
The party says that its plan will generate 320,000 new apprenticeships in England during its first term in power, which will rise to 886,000 by the year 2030.
The scheme will train apprentices to become qualified engineers and technicians in renewable energy and transport, while providing civil engineers and tradespeople who will specialise in sustainable forms of construction.
New, low carbon industries will be provided for with a new generation of trained designers, welders and fabricators, as well as specialists in forestry and greener agriculture.
At the CBI conference, Corbyn will add: “Climate Apprenticeships will offer training to school leavers and workers looking to change jobs mid-career, creating the engineers, technicians and construction workers we need to transition to a green economy.
“This election is our last chance to tackle the climate emergency. The Tories have failed to invest in our economy, failed to deliver apprenticeships and failed to face up to the climate emergency.”
In order to finance the scheme, Labour says that a quarter of the funds set aside by employers for the current Apprenticeship Levy will be redistributed.
As part of its overhaul the levy, Labour says it will allow for greater flexibility in how funds are spent by employers and extend the allotted time period for levy money to be spent. It will also increase the amount of money that bigger businesses can transfer to small and medium-sized enterprises who benefit from the levy but are not required to pay into it.