New Clause 10 — Green deal installation apprenticeships

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 2:00 pm on 14th September 2011.

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Photo of Barry Gardiner Barry Gardiner Labour, Brent North 2:00 pm, 14th September 2011

The shadow Minister is absolutely right that there has yet to be clarity on the issue, and clarity is vital. If we are to meet the targets that the Committee on Climate Change has set and the budgets, we must know that sufficient funds are available for the ECO to meet those targets. At present, my analysis and other analyses are quite clear that up to £22 billion is required, although an absolute cap of £1 billion might be provided under the ECO. As my hon. Friend suggests, that £1 billion might prove not to be a full £1 billion after all.

On new clause 9, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change has estimated that the green deal will lead to employment in the sector increasing from 27,000 jobs currently to something approaching 250,000 jobs by 2020. That involves the creation of 27,875 jobs every year from the start of the green deal until 2020. Double the number of jobs that currently exist must be created every year. We heard earlier at Prime Minister’s Question Time about the latest unemployment figures and particularly the problems of youth unemployment. Of course, if those jobs were created, we would all welcome them, but there must be a doubt about these provisions.

In opposition, the Prime Minister called for a revolution in skills and training, so that the skills system responds far more effectively to the needs of individuals and businesses in a greener economy, but the recent green economy road map recognises the importance of that and refers to the introduction of new skills for a green economy and the grouping of sector skills councils to help businesses understand the changing skills requirement. It is crucial that that new grouping of sector skills councils supports the development of the additional 27,875 jobs every year between now and 2020. It would be of considerable interest to the House if the Minister explained what financial provision will be made to the sector skills councils to enable that sort of expansion—a tenfold expansion—to take place in the next nine years.