October 2013

Windy streets of turning leaves and the turning back of the clocks signal the end of the long summer, and time for another ELGJA monthly update.

There was good news in the Greater London Authority recognising that low carbon and environmental goods and services have continued to grow and create new jobs in London in the face of the biggest economic downturn since the 1930s.
Great to see it – now to grow it more!

Strategies for a greener economy and youth unemployment got a lot of coverage this month, but a mixed bag at that.

Green Taxes and Red Herrings?

As he announced another giant hike in consumer energy prices, SSE’s chief executive suggested “it’s time to retreat from decarbonisation and focus more on the cost of living.

Check out the New Economics Foundation’s reply, arguing that green taxes are precisely what helps mitigate the problems of the cost of living, as well as the rising costs of gas.

And Lord Stern on why focusing on green taxes on fossil fuels at a time of government subsidised fracking and nuclear is thoroughly misleading.

Benefit Cuts as a ‘dunt towards the workplace’


As young people not in employment, education or training rose to 1.09 million, David Cameron suggested cutting benefits for the under 25s. Michael Gove agreed that “it is always going to be the case that there are some people for whom you need not so much a nudge as a dunt (a firm blow or stroke) towards the workplace)”.

But a nudge or dunt doesn’t solve the problem of creating jobs. A Conservative MP’s proposal of tax breaks for firms that employ under-25shas been criticised for potentially ‘displacing’ unemployment rather than creating new employment.

So the problem of creating new jobs persists, and the debate about the rapid increase of zero-hours contracts continues.

A vision of Green Jobs as long-term, progressive, non-exploitative and sustainable is as important as ever. ELGJA’s mission to share good practice and possibilities needs your input – let us know where it’s happening, what you’re learning, what possibilities are out there

Focusing on Youth Enterprise

‘Development, stability and sustainability’, relationships that last a lifetime, personal optimism and skills for social enterprise… The International Summit on Youth Job Creation focused on entrepreneurship as a core way to generate employment.

The focus has been taken up in a new agenda for enterprise skills in education, and the RSA’s Manifesto for Youth Enterprise. Their 15 identified points of leverage include boosting demand for the products and services of young entrepreneurs, for example by encouraging larger corporations to build them into their supply chains or helping them win contracts with local authorities. We like this!

Case Study – Crop Drop

Passion, persistence and access to the lessons learned by others – these are the ingredients of the East London Green Jobs Alliance, and these are the ingredients that helped launch Crop Drop this month. Haringey’s new veg box scheme brings you delicious veg from producers within London as well as close by, following Growing Communities’ model and helped by their Start-up Programme.


Interested in working in horticulture, food production or food retail? Living in Waltham Forest? OrganicLea’s FoodWorks programme starts a new round of weekly work taster days next week.

OrganicLea also have two job opportunities in their food distribution team – for deliveries, logistics and finance. If you’re interested in joining this thriving worker’s co-op in the old ‘bread-basket of London’, the Lea Valley, read on and apply quick!

Trees for Cities are based in the beautiful Ruskin Park, Lambeth, and are looking for new trainees! If you’re out of work and wanting to get experience, a Level 2 Diploma in Work-based Horticulture and opportunities to access other free training opportunities, complete the online registration form or contact Melanie on 020 7840 5957.

Do you have a start-up business that contributes to carbon-reduction while showing innovation and profitability? Investment and mentoring opportunities available here

If you’re not at that stage but have a business idea, check out Hackney Business Venture’s free ‘Get Ready for Business’ seminar on 14 November for some launch pad advice

Working without Bosses and living without landlords?
Radical Routes is hosting a weekend of free workshops about setting up and successfully sustaining workers and housing co-ops. Friday 15th – Sunday 17th November in Nottingham.

That’s all for this month folks!

Enjoy the wind and the cosying up, and send us your opportunities and stories for next month’s newsletter!

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