HUNDREDS of people are employed in ‘green’ jobs in Barnsley, new figures have revealed.

The Institute for Public Policy Research has found the country has suffered an ‘exceptional decline’ compared to international peers, losing a third of its manufacturing strength in 30 years.

The analysis found on average, 593 people were employed in manufacturing sectors related to the green transition across the Barnsley travel to work zone between 2016 and 2022.

Most of them - 433 - had jobs in industries like manufacturing parts for wind farms, while the rest were working in producing parts for green transport and components for heat pumps.

The IPPR said jobs in the net zero economy tend to be significantly more productive, paying on average £10,000 more per year than the national average salary.

It highlighted parts of the country that are well equipped to expand their capacity in green industries.

Out of 212 travel to work zones, Barnsley was ranked 46th in wind-power-related manufacturing.

The think tank said despite the significant decline, the UK is already world-leading in making one in three products vital to the green transition.

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It is also strong at making electric trains and their parts, heat pump components, and turbines for geothermal or hydro electricity generation.

Dr George Dibb, head of the IPPR’s centre for economic justice, said: “The UK faces three generational challenges: to deliver net zero, to level up and reinvigorate our economy, and to become more resilient to future shocks.

“These challenges have a common solution - seizing the growth opportunities of green manufacturing.

“Over the past 30 years we have slipped sharply behind our global competitors in the quantity and kinds of things we actually make.

“That’s bad for jobs, for living standards, for our security - and for our long-term economic strength as a country.”

Rain Newton-Smith, CEO of the Confederation of British Industry, added: “Green truly is the economic growth opportunity of the 21st century, with our research showing it could deliver as much as £57bn to the UK economy.

“That’s something we can’t afford to miss out on, and our manufacturing sector is fundamental to helping us secure that prize.

“The race is now on to build on our expertise in advanced manufacturing and leverage our established supply chains to make the most of the green opportunities on offer.

“That’s why we need stable regulatory and financial frameworks that support our manufacturers to invest in and grow their operations, with investment incentives and policy certainty at their core.”