Page last updated at 18:36 GMT, Monday, 15 February 2010

West Midlands environmental jobs boost predicted

Solar panels being fitted
Environmental technology work is growing rapidly, the survey says

A big increase in jobs in the "green sector" has been predicted by firms in the West Midlands region.

Some 400 environmental technology companies in the area were surveyed and 50% said they wanted to take on more staff and retrain others.

The survey group - the West Midlands Regional Observatory - said more than 70,000 people were already working in environmental technology.

It has called for employers and academics to work together.

'Wealth of opportunities'

The environmental technology sector is estimated to contribute £8.5bn to the region's economy and employs about 74,000 people within the Midlands, including the supply of low carbon environmental goods, environmental technologies consulting, renewable energy, waste management and emerging low carbon technologies.

Rosie Paskins, chief executive of the Observatory, said: "Research has indicated that environmental technologies is a growth sector with a wealth of market opportunities for businesses.

"However, if the sector is to fully capitalise on this potential, we need to make sure that businesses can access the skills, training and other support they need.

"The role of the region's universities, many of which have developed an expertise in this area, will be integral to this process."



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