Meeting Greater Manchester’s 2038 net zero target will require significant changes across many areas of the local economy, which will only be achieved if the workforce have the right skills and competencies needed within this growing green economy. Here at Groundwork, we know that all jobs will need to change to some extent to support the transition to a low carbon economy. We also believe the growth in Greater Manchester’s green economy can not only accelerate progress towards net zero and help address the crisis facing our natural environment, but can also deliver good jobs and careers, improve services and infrastructure and support levelling up of communities across the UK.

What does Groundwork do?

We’ve been helping people learn new skills and become better equipped to access work, or further training or education, for over thirty years, prioritising those who are marginalised or at risk of exclusion from the labour market.

Our employment specialists work with young people, care leavers, veterans and people with a criminal record, supporting them into jobs, particularly greener jobs.

We provide mentoring and coaching alongside a series of pre-employment training courses (accredited & non accredited) covering three areas of the Green Economy; the natural-environment, the built environment and energy.

Every skills and employment programme we deliver includes Carbon Literacy training as standard, ensuring that everyone is aware of the climate emergency and how their actions at work and at home can make a positive difference.

We deliver employment programmes at our offices in Rochdale and Tameside, at partner sites across the city region and within a prison setting.

Over the next three years we will expand our Green Jobs programme, launching the Groundwork Green Skills Academy, where we will provide L2 and L3 accredited training courses which build on our current programmes.

Why are green jobs needed?

A new way of working

Carbon-intensive jobs will need to be phased out in order to create a carbon neutral city by 2038 but this is an opportunity not a barrier. New job opportunities will be created in a range of sectors including energy, construction and the natural environment.

Just transition to net-zero

The Greater Manchester Local Industrial Strategy Evidence Review from 2022 supports Groundwork’s approach to Green Jobs; prioritising new opportunities in the Green Economy to those who currently hold carbon-intensive jobs and those from historically marginalised communities, helping to deliver a ‘just transition’.


The Environmental sector is one of the least racially diverse professions in the UK, with just 4.8% of the workforce identifying as Black, Asian or from other minority ethnic groups, compared to 12.6% across other professions. We will upscale approaches like those highlighted in the New to Nature programme so that opportunities in the Green Economy are available to people from all communities and backgrounds.

Helping people in prison secure work upon release

Green Start is an employability programme which helps prison leavers thrive in the evolving green skills and construction job market.

A week in the life of… a Green Skills Lead at Groundwork

Meet Liz, Green Skills Lead at Groundwork Greater Manchester. Read her blog detailing a week in her shoes… or should we say work boots!

How Willmott Dixon are working with Groundwork

Rosie McLaren, Social Value Coordinator at Willmott Dixon, shares her insights into the world of construction and how they’re improving their commitments to local people.

Green Futures Partnership

We are a founding member of the Greater Manchester Green Futures Partnership; a group of social enterprises working together to create inclusive and sustainable green skills training and employment opportunities across Greater Manchester, supporting the city region’s aim of becoming carbon neutral by 2038.

We are always open to new and innovative partnerships with those who share our vision for green skills & jobs. We would encourage any businesses or organisations who would like to get involved and work with us to get in touch.

A Just Transition To A Green Economy

As we transition to a low carbon economy, which will be needed to hit the UK’s net zero goals, sustainability awareness and ‘green skills’ will become more and more relevant to all jobs in the labour market.

Creating a Green Workforce through Carbon Literacy

We want to create a greener, more resilient city region, but in order to generate a green industrial revolution, we need to ensure our workforce is equipped with the right skills and knowledge.

Greener Homes, Greener Jobs for Greater Manchester

The unique part of our Housing Refurbishment programme is the fact that participants gain real, hands-on experience during the course, moving quickly from the classroom to refurbishing a void property.