Another General Election is just days away, and politicians are doing what they can to convince you that they’re worthy of getting the keys to Number Ten on the 13th.
In the run up to the 2017 election Energist filtered out the headline grabbing claims from each of the party manifestos and just looked at the political promises for sustainable house building.
And here we are again just two years later…
Skills and training
Who is going to be building our homes in the next decade, and who’s training them?
None of the manifestos specifically talk about training brickies, roofers or sparkies, but phrases like ‘green jobs’ and ‘low carbon industries’ keep cropping up.
This is Labour’s territory, and they’re splashing the cash by establishing the National Education Service. Like the NHS but for learning. This would offer lifelong training that’s free to everyone so people can learn the skills that are needed in whatever industry they’re working in.
Labour are also promising a Climate Apprenticeship Programme to develop skills specific to the green industry with the hope of creating a million new climate jobs across the UK.
They intend to retrain people who are currently working in gas and oil industries so they can switch to new jobs in the green sector.
The Green Party would put £2 billion a year into training people to work in a low carbon economy – that doesn’t just mean working in the renewable sector, but would also retrain workers to build and renovate buildings with low carbon construction materials and methods.
They say training courses would be decided at a local level depending on skills shortages.
When it comes to promoting building materials, both the Greens and Liberal Democrats support ways of reducing carbon emissions from our steel and cement industries by investing in technologies to reduce or capture pollutants.
The Lib Dems are also following a similar line to the Greens with training plans. Every person in the UK would have access to a ‘skills wallet’ to help fund apprenticeships and specialist training courses. The type of courses available would be decided locally.
Up to £10,000 is available for every person in the UK to retain (depending on age) with particular focus given to the zero carbon sector (which, by the Lib Dems standards, would include housebuilding).
Conservatives are promising to spend £3 billion on a National Skills Fund and are looking to create 2 million new jobs in clean growth areas.
They are keen to promote the use of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) for new build sites. This is where homes are timber framed and factory built. This method is more carbon friendly and means more homes which can be built in a quicker timeframe.
The Brexit Party intends to scrap the Apprentice Levy for training workers. They would improve tax incentives so employers take on ‘genuine apprentices’. One such incentive is to give a Corporation Tax exemption to companies which generate less than £50,000 profit a year.