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Government's exporting of skilled green jobs must end, union demands

by our Industrial reporter @TrinderMatt

TORY ministers must end the “national scandal” of exporting skilled green jobs overseas, GMB has demanded.

The energy union said the bulk of manufacturing and assembly work for the renewable energy sector is outsourced to China or the Middle East, despite it being heavily subsidised by British taxpayers. 

Long-term control over rising costs and energy supplies will only happen if domestic industries involving onshore green manufacturing jobs are helped to develop, GMB stressed.

The warning comes after Labour slammed the Tories over the weekend for a “decade of dither, delay and poor planning” for the sector. 

The party pointed to the government’s failure to boost renewables, properly insulate homes and regulate the energy market, leading to dozens of energy companies going bust and skyrocketing bills.

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said that Labour would impose a windfall tax on North Sea oil and gas producers to help fund a temporary VAT cut on energy bills and increase the warm homes discount for the most vulnerable.

The move would reduce average bills by £200, with low-earners and pensioners saving up to £600, she said.

The Leeds West MP added that ending Britain’s reliance on imported energy should be accelerated by boosting home-grown renewable and nuclear energy production. 

GMB general secretary Gary Smith said: “We will only get proper control over prices and security of energy supply if we support domestic industries that bring home green jobs. 

“It is a national scandal that the renewables sector receives huge subsidies from UK billpayers, yet it is allowed to offshore the bulk of its work halfway around the globe.

“Meanwhile we get the crumbs from our own table.”

A government spokesperson claimed ministers would “continue to listen to consumers and businesses” concerning rising energy costs. 

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