Businesses and businesses’ unions are set to support a new Government Bill aimed at boosting employment in the UK’s green jobs sector.
The new Jobs for Britain Bill will also boost funding for the National Green Jobs Agency (NGJA), the government body which has been working to support the green jobs industry.
The Government hopes to increase funding for NGIAs to £1bn a year, and the Green Jobs Investment Fund (GJIF) to £50m.
But business groups say the changes will only encourage more green jobs in the short-term.
The Business for Britain campaign group, which is calling for the Government to reverse its decision to close the UK Green Jobs Hub in London, said the bill was a “bad idea”.
“There’s no good reason for this to happen, and I can’t see why the Government wants to put up with it, so we’re going to go and vote for the GJIF and get it passed,” said John Williams, the BFC’s chief executive.
“We’re hoping it’s the right thing to do.”
In February, the Government announced that it was closing the UK green jobs hub in London.
The hub was an essential part of the government’s £5bn Green Investment Plan, and attracted thousands of people to the capital to work in the green sector.
But since then, more than 2,000 jobs have been lost in the hub, with more than a third of them due to cuts to the local economy.
The BFC said it would not be able to afford to keep up with the cost of running the hub in the long term.
Business for Brexit, a group campaigning to leave the European Union, said it was “deeply concerned” that the Government would “punch up green jobs to make up for the loss of the hub”. “
It has meant the closure of jobs for the foreseeable future and the Government will be introducing an alternative hub in Birmingham in the next financial year.”
Business for Brexit, a group campaigning to leave the European Union, said it was “deeply concerned” that the Government would “punch up green jobs to make up for the loss of the hub”.
The group, whose campaign to leave is supported by more than 600 business groups and unions, said: “[We are] extremely concerned that the government is taking the decision to take the Green Investment Fund to the UK only in order to close it down and that it is not going to be able in the future to invest in green jobs at a time when the UK economy needs them most.”
In March, Business for a Green Britain said it hoped the new Government would introduce “more money for the NGIA and other organisations that are critical to supporting the green job economy”.
The NGIIs main job is to provide funding to the National Greens Hub, which was established to support green jobs and to give support to the Green Growth Fund.
The Greens are funded by a levy on all firms in the Green Economy, which currently stands at just under £200m a year.
It will increase to £200,000 a year from April 2019.
It is not clear how the new funding will be paid for.
In an interview with the BBC, the Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Andrea Leadsom, said she had been told that the NgiAs funding would be funded by “an additional £100m from the Green Budget”.
She added: “But I’m not sure exactly what the government would do with that additional money.”
But Mr Williams said the government needed to “take a much bigger bite out of the green economy than what they have”.
The Green Jobs Bill is expected to be passed in the House of Commons by the end of the week, with a second reading expected later in the year.
The Conservative Party has been critical of the GJA for some time, but has not yet joined the Greens’ calls for a cap on the amount of funding it could give.
The Conservatives have also criticised the GJB’s role in helping to pay for the closure to the Hub.
They say the funding should be paid into a new Green Investment Bank, and not into the Green Deal Fund, which the Green Party says is a “disaster” for the green industries.
The Green Deal fund was established by the Green deal to provide the money to cover the cost for the Hub and was established in a £5.3bn Green Deal.
It was originally set up in the 1990s to help the Green economy recover from the financial collapse caused by the global financial crisis, but was suspended by the Government in 2013.
Mr Williams told the BBC the GJC had been instrumental in helping the Hub recover from this financial crisis and that the new bill would do the same.