Friends of the Earth groups in Kent are running a virtual online summit to debate the need for more action to encourage a greener economy in Kent.
Keynote speaker Greg Clark MP will share what the government is doing for a low carbon recovery from the pandemic period.
The full line up of speakers includes representatives from green businesses, education, NGOs and Kent County Council with examples of green jobs and skills, and how to grow green jobs in Kent:
Greg Clark, MP for Tunbridge Wells, Chair of the Science and Technology Committee, former Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Denis Fernando, Climate Campaigner, Friends of the Earth
Cllr Mark Hood, Kent County Councillor (Green Party) and member of KCC’s Growth, Economic Development and Communities Cabinet Committee
Sasha Langeveldt, Students Organising for Sustainability UK (Chair)
Rob Robinson, Sustainable Business Project Manager, KCC, working in partnership with LoCASE, the training funding provider for sustainable business growth in the South East
Russell Smith, Director, RetrofitWorks, and member of the Government’s Green Jobs Taskforce
Lynne Toogood, Chief Operating Office, Connected Kerb, the EV charging infrastructure company
Everyone is invited to the Kent Green Jobs Summit from 6:30pm to 8pm tomorrow (March 29). The event is organised by Friends of the Earth groups in Swale, Thanet and Tunbridge Wells. It’s free to attend but people must register to receive information and log-in details.
Maite Pardo from Thanet Friends of the Earth said:”From Dartford to Dover, new jobs in energy efficiency, low-carbon heating, solar and wind power could bring enormous social and economic benefits. We want to explore whether Kent has the skilled workforce needed to deliver the progress we need in the next decade.”
The event will showcase the potential green jobs have for local communities in the county as the UK moves to net zero. It will identify actions that can be taken to create sustainable, skilled and rewarding careers in the low carbon sectors that will tackle the climate crisis.
Drawing on recent research from Friends of the Earth, the summit will look at the scale of opportunity for employers, employees and young people. It will identify the green skills gaps and barriers and ask policy-makers to respond to the challenge.
Margate councillor Rob Yates, who is a windfarm worker, said: “Each day of summer, weather permitting, hundreds of wind farm technicians depart Ramsgate port on crew transfer vessels to maintain the three offshore wind farms based around our coastline. “Speaking as a Councillor who works for one of them I can speak first-hand about the hundreds of jobs both direct, and indirect that this industry has created locally.
“Unlike South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay, I see first-hand the beneficial impact this has had for Thanet and I look forward to the Ramsgate Green Port initiative that has been proposed as part of the Ramsgate Levelling Up fund, where a wind farm technician training school has been proposed.
“Tomorrow’s event is a great opportunity to find out more about the huge opportunities the Green industry creates here in Kent, from constructing and maintaining offshore wind, insulating houses, replacing old gas boilers with air source heat pumps, installing solar, building hydrogen production facilities, building carbon neutral houses, and working to replace old diesel bus fleets with new electric buses. Please sign up to find out more.”
The summit will explore:
What are green jobs and why do we need them?
What is the scale of opportunity for green jobs across Kent, in order to meet climate and nature recovery targets?
What is the current gap and what training and upskilling of the workforce is needed to close it?
How will training and upskilling be delivered? And what are the barriers to be overcome?
What are the next steps from all stakeholders to drive progress on green jobs in Kent in 2022?