A new report by the TUC based on research by the New Economics Foundation examines how we could manage a fair transition by looking three case studies of industrial change: Bilbao, Eindhoven and Iceland. The report then makes recommendations for how Britain can manage the transition to a green economy while maintaining communities and improving livelihoods.
- Bilbao: strong public participation and local autonomy over policy and finance helped lift the city after a devastating flood and "intertwined social, economic and political crises"
- Eindhoven: public investment and cooperation withing the business sector enabled the city to survive the loss of manufacturing jobs and become a hub for technological innovation particularity in health and social care.
- Iceland: moved through the banking crisis and subsequent economic crisis with impressive income and gender equality by maintaining a commitment to social provision and democratic accountability supported by its strong trade union movement.
Critical success factors
- people feel secure and have a stake in their local areas
- there is a strong social safety net to foster long-term opportunity in an area
- genuine opportunities for participation in decision-making
- proactive, positive interactions between state, unions and businesses
Recommendations for the UK
- setting the development of quality jobs as the test for success of the industrial strategy
- ensuring that plans for industrial strategy or economic development are overseen by a social partnership approach
- allowing unions to bargain with employers to maximise employment standards across sectors
- delivering a national entitlement to skills, to give everyone the confidence to adapt to changing demands
- making an increase in good jobs the clear test for local industrial strategies
- bringing together unions, employers and citizens at local level to develop a clear vision and plan for their area
- using local employment charters to drive the development of good work across regions
- using social value procurement to support high quality employment standards, local labour and supply chains and other community benefits.
By taking positive action to improve lives and created well paid secure jobs we can transform our economy and avoid a climate catastrophe. This will not happen without an active state working at all levels with trade unions and communities. Without this we will repeat the mistakes of past which saw communities devastated by the closure of local industries.