Labour has today set out plans to deliver a national Warm Homes Plan which would boost job opportunities for almost four million workers, including those working in construction and other skilled trades as well as those joining these professions over the coming years.
The announcement comes as Labour has vowed to bring 19m of the UK’s leakiest homes up to an acceptable standard of insulation, with a national Warm Homes Plan that will ease the cost of living crisis for families.
As well as reducing household energy bills by up to £500, the Party hopes that the significant commitment to retrofit will lead to an expansion of the retrofit workforce and create a long-term order book for skilled, highly paid work.
Using data published by the research organisation Autonomy, which matched the skills required to retrofit homes with the skills in other occupations, Labour has highlighted key roles that are required in retrofit include glaziers, solar and insulation installers, plumbers and heating engineers, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics.
The research sets out that there are currently over four million people who have skills that will be needed in retrofit jobs, but only currently 200,000 people actually working to retrofit homes right now – half of the total needed to deliver our Warm Homes Plan and upgrade all houses to EPC C standard. This means that there are nearly four million workers who would be ready to benefit from new opportunities and higher paid work if a government delivered a comprehensive Warm Homes Plan.
Examples of existing occupations that could easily move into key retrofit roles including roofer and floorers, construction workers, metal workers and skilled workers in sectors like aerospace.
Labour’s scheme would be led by local councils across the UK, building on the success of Labour councils such as Kirklees Council and mayoralties in London and Manchester to deliver locally-led homes upgrade schemes that are providing warmer homes for local people.
At the last election, the Conservatives promised to fund homes upgrades with £9.2bn in the next Parliament. However, an analysis has revealed that the Government’s spending plans will fall significantly short of this target by 2025.
Labour say that this comes after a decade of failure by the Conservatives to introduce a proper national energy efficiency plan. The UK has the least energy efficient housing in Europe, and under the Conservatives, home insulation rates have plummeted. They say that for example, in 2013 the Conservative-led coalition government cut energy efficiency programmes, after which insulation rates fell by 92% in 2013.
Labour’s Shadow Climate and Net Zero Secretary Ed Miliband commented: “The only way to end the cost of living crisis is to bring down energy bills for good. That’s what Labour’s Warm Homes Plan will do – cutting bills for millions of families by upgrading their homes.
“As well as cutting bills, our plans will bring thousands of new jobs – from the roofers to the metal workers, from glaziers to heating engineers.
“Creating these good jobs across every part of our country is a crucial part of building a stronger economy and making working people better off.
“Only Labour can deliver the plan Britain needs to cut energy bills, end the cost of living crisis, and create good jobs for our country.”