Landmark report: A Blueprint for Better, Cleaner Jobs

In April the ETU launched an incredible report “A blueprint for Better, Cleaner Jobs” created by Shirley Jackson with Sam Ibrahim at Per Capita.

The ETU commissioned this report because we acknowledge the absence of a roadmap or plan to transition workers and communities from the fossil fuel industry into good jobs in a growing renewables industry.

The report shows that more than 450,000 jobs could be created in coming decades under a national renewable energy plan.

ETU Acting National Secretary Michael Wright said a carefully co-ordinated transition to renewable energy would inject working Australians and their communities into the industries of the future.

“We have the opportunity now to create a national plan for jobs for the thousands of workers and dozens of regional communities which currently rely on fossil fuel sources for their jobs and economic prosperity,” he said.

ETU National President Troy Gray said Australia must act quickly and decisively to make up for the lack of a national plan thus far.

“After nearly a decade of begging for federal leadership, Australian states and territories have been forced to break away from the national electricity system for fear of being left in the dark with stranded assets and redundant power systems,” said Troy.

“Uncoordinated unilateral plans have led to insecure and unsafe work and sudden disruptions like overnight closure announcements leaving thousands of workers in precarious employment or worse, unemployed with no future job prospects,” he said.

Report highlights

The political, ecological and economic challenge of decarbonising Australia’s energy and industrial base is crying out for leadership. The next five to ten years are crucial to ensure that the worst outcomes of the climate crisis are mitigated, and we have a unique opportunity to reframe our economy in the interests of the people who work within it.

The first section of the report outlines the case for a renewed focus on the role of government in managing a swift and secure structural adjustment to a post-carbon economy.

The second section makes the case for better jobs, with skilled pathways into employment that provide certainty, security and stability for workers and their families.

In the third section, we turn our attention to the cleaner jobs that will come through an industrial diversification project, not just in renewable energy but also in battery technology, additive and advanced manufacturing, regenerative land care and rare earths.

Key recommendations:

  1. Establish A Federal Transformation Authority
  2. Create sector specific industry plans
  3. Set concrete targets for the energy mix
  4. Create targeted incentives in Renewable Energy Zones
  5. Kickstart a research revolution
  6. Restore TAFE funding to pre-2013 levels

Read the report here.

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This article was publised on 28 April 2022.