Devonport: From Trident jobs to green employment

September 21, 2011 - Workers use a giant crane for lifting the blade assembly is lifted as work continues on the 2 MW Gamesa wind turbine being installed at NREL's National Wind Technology Center (NWTC).  (Photo by Dennis Schroeder)
(Photo by Dennis Schroeder)
Devonport: Trident alternatives, an overview of green employment potential

This report, by CAG consultants, takes available data and explores how the current 2000 or so Trident-related jobs in and around Devonport in Plymouth could be replaced within the emerging local ‘green’ economy, making use of the great potential of existing local skills and facilities.

Full report

Summary leaflet

Speaking at the launch of the report in Plymouth, Molly Scott Cato said:

“The debate about the renewal of the UK’s submarine-based Trident nuclear weapon system is of course a major ethical issue. Many, myself included, regard all such weapons of annihilation as immoral, as well as militarily useless, and breaching our obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

“But this report is not concerned so much with the ethics of Trident, it’s about economics and goes to the heart of the type of economy and society we want to create in the future. This study explores how we could convert nuclear weapons related jobs in Plymouth into green jobs.

Some people, including some Trade Unions, argue that the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system helps sustain thousands of high-quality jobs in the UK, including at Devonport in Plymouth. But this report blows that argument clean out of the water by demonstrating that jobs linked with Trident are limited and can and should be replaced, using far less public money.

“The life-time cost of Trident renewal could be as high as £200 billion. It is estimated that renewing Trident would safeguard just 11,500 civilian jobs in the UK as a whole, making them some of the most expensive jobs in the world. By contrast, for just a few hundred million pounds of public money, significant green jobs can be created.

“So we can abandon Trident replacement while maintaining employment but start transferring investment and skills into socially useful and sustainable jobs, making use of all the fantastic skills and resources available at Devonport.

“The most serious and urgent threat we face as a human community is climate change and this launch coincides with the climate discussions currently taking place in Marrakech, where world leaders are seeking to develop practical proposals to make good on the Paris Agreement reached just a year ago. With the facilities of the Devonport Dockyard and the skills of its workforce able to contribute to the transition to a safe and sustainable future, the launch of this report could not be more timely.”