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More than 450,000 jobs could be created in reusing and repairing household goods, according to environmental think tank the Green Alliance.
If consumers prioritise reusing goods rather than throwing them away, “circular economy” jobs could emerge in both repairing complex electronic goods and supporting recycling efforts, the Alliance said.
Its report, Levelling up through circular economy jobs, claims that “too much value is lost through destruction and disposal”, and that a greater focus from policy makers into boosting recycling and repair could create hundreds of thousands of jobs by 2035.
It adds that thousands of these roles could be created in areas that are currently impacted by high unemployment, such as the North East. There would also be a requirement for more administrative jobs such as administrators and purchasing managers.
The Green Alliance has called on the government to set up a £400 million circular economy starter fund, and to unlock investment in circular economy businesses through its UK Infrastructure Bank.
In addition, it called for support for workers transitioning into circular economy roles with retraining programmes and work coaches. It recommended strategic funding for universities to market and run new courses linked to the circular economy.
Potential roles in the circular economy could be: repairer, recycling operative, biorefining (extracting materials from biowaste or converting waste into energy), second hand retail, rental of products and “circular procurement” (keeping products in use for as long as possible to maximise their value).
However, if the UK makes little progress in promot