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York’s Green Economy

We've commissioned researchers from the University of Warwick to produce a report that outlines the current state of York’s green economy.

The research, which delivers on an objective set out in York’s Economic Strategy, maps out the types of green jobs and skills that exist and will be in demand in the future.

The report will guide the council and key stakeholders in efforts to support the growth of the green economy and ambitions to become a net-zero city by 2030.

Read the report on the University of Warwick website:

The report covers the following 5 items:

Defining green jobs

Until recently there was little agreement on how to define and measure green jobs. In the past, a ‘purist’ approach was used that centred on industries with economic activities directly focused on producing environmental and climate change related goods and services, such as wind turbines.

Now a consensus has emerged that a broader more inclusive definition is needed that recognises that some jobs are ‘greening’ because of the transition to net zero. This approach is the one accepted by the UK government.

Researchers at the University of Warwick have developed a classification that is based on the broader, more inclusive approach to define green jobs.

This classification defines 3 types of green-related occupations.

  1. New and emerging green occupations: Occupations that have unique requirements for working in, or on, the decarbonisation of goods, processes and services. For example, an electric vehicle power unit designer.
  2. Green enhanced skills and knowledge occupations: Occupations that currently exist but require a change in their competencies and/or context for working in, or on, the decarbonisation of goods, processes and services. For example, a mechanic who will operate electric vehicles as well as other motor vehicles.
  3. Green increased demand occupations: Those occupations whose demand is increased due to the decarbonisation of goods, processes and services, but do not entail significant changes to their competencies or context. For example, electric power line installers.

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The extent of green jobs in York

The extent of green jobs in York varies by the definition deployed. Using the purist definition, only 1,800 green jobs are within York’s travel to work area (TTWA). In contrast, using the broader UK government adopted definition, there are 88,000 green jobs within York’s TTWA.

Around 70% of all green jobs in York's TTWA are people working in associate professional and technical, skilled trades, professional and managerial occupations.

Around 45% of green jobs are ‘green increased demand occupations’, with 30% being ‘green enhanced skills and knowledge’, and 20% being green new and emerging jobs.

The sectors that accounted for the largest proportion of green jobs were:

  • agriculture, forestry and fishing (56%)
  • construction (45%)
  • manufacturing (35%)
  • transport and communication (35%)

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The skills and knowledge of green jobs in York

Around three quarters of green jobs in York will either be existing jobs for which demand will expand (green increased demand) or existing occupations whose skills and knowledge can be reinforced (green enhanced skills and knowledge).

The report shows that York already has the skills and knowledge required for a sustainable future.

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The demand for green jobs in York

The current demand for green jobs in York can be found by looking at online job postings.

On this basis:

  • around one third of York TTWA job postings are for green occupations
  • around two thirds of these postings were for green enhanced skills and knowledge occupations
  • very few (6%) were for new or emerging green occupations

The York TTWA has relatively high levels of job postings for occupations in skilled trades, sales and customer service occupations, and lower proportions in managerial and professional jobs.

A large majority of green and non-green job postings require people with previous experience with many skills sought in green and non-green job postings being similar or the same.

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Suggested actions to support the growth of green jobs

To support the growth of green jobs and the green economy in York, a number of actions were proposed for the council and key stakeholders to take:

  1. Establish a Green Skills Partnership.
  2. Create a Green Jobs Champion.
  3. Develop a green jobs audit/checklist for local businesses.
  4. Encourage local education and training providers to develop and deliver micro-credentials.
  5. Develop and host a web based local Labour Market Information (LMI) facility.

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Also see

Economic Growth Team

West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA
Evening view of the River Ouse from Dame Judy Dench Walk

See details of our initiatives and plans to help the environment and meet our ambition for York to be a net-zero carbon city by 2030.

Climate change in York