Boosting infrastructure 'could create 1.2 million new jobs'
Increasing investment on projects such as green technology and broadband could lead to the creation of 1.24 million new jobs within the next two years, it has been claimed.
The research by Transition Economics for the Trades Union Congress (TUC) found that 500,000 new roles could be generated by 2022 by building new social housing and retrofitting existing properties, while more than 120,000 new jobs could be delivered by expanding and upgrading the rail network.
In addition, 40,000 roles could be created through high speed broadband investment and more than 59,000 could be generated by investing in electric buses and ferries, electric charging points and battery factories.
A further 38,000 could be delivered through research and development around de-carbonising technology in manufacturing.
Such investment would cost around £85 billion, with the TUC urging the government to also boost social security support for those who have lost jobs, and introduce a fully funded jobs guarantee programme offering paid employment with training.
Speaking about the findings, Frances O’Grady, General Secretary at the TUC, said: "We need to work our way out of recession. Investing in infrastructure now will help to create jobs across the economy and limit the fallout from coronavirus. And it will stop the devastation of mass unemployment.
"We should lose no time getting shovels in the ground. Next month's budget must be used to green-light spending on homes, faster broadband, better transport links and greener technology.
"Alongside investment in infrastructure to create great new jobs, we need a job guarantee scheme for young workers and rescue packages for badly hit sectors. And we need a new drive to ensure that the recession does not worsen existing labour market inequalities.
"The more people we can keep in work, the faster we'll bounce back from this crisis."
Elsewhere, new research from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) found that half of all business travel companies (49 per cent) intend to resume domestic trips within the next three months.
One in five (22 per cent) also plan to travel overseas on business in the near future.