The cities sit within the region historically known as the ‘workshop of the world’. Today, the region is pioneering new inventions which drive the new wave of ‘green’ revolution. This is further bolstered by advanced manufacturing and construction sectors, low carbon and environmental technologies, modern methods of construction experience, and world class research and development centres. As 41% of the West Midlands workforce is employed in high carbon-omitting industries, circa 283,000 West Midlands workers will need some form of upskilling and re-training to transition to the jobs that underpin our future net zero economy. The 3 Cities retrofit is part of that future jobs landscape and our net zero path.

Retrofit presents significant supply chain opportunities

This includes boosting demand for retrofit solutions and stimulating the market. By bringing together our collective assets, the 3 Cities will provide an opening for businesses large and small across different supply chain areas.   

Retrofit supply chain areas
Wall insulation

The 3 Cities will look to harness our industrial heritage and experience from manufacturing and construction to help design and build the kit for retrofit, bringing back and creating opportunities for the local supply chain and establishing green manufacturing at the heart of the industrial centre of the UK.

The programme will create opportunities for skilled jobs, essential for developing and maintaining the low carbon systems of the future. We will look to develop the skills of a new generation of workforce and identify where existing skills and experience can be transferred and enhanced from other industries to build the significant labour force required for retrofit.

Matching the supply with demand will be key to developing the retrofit supply chain

To meet growing retrofit needs, the 3 Cities provide a unique opportunity to engage with regional industries and draw upon their expertise through partnerships and joint ventures, thereby growing the supplier market and creating a future pipeline of work.

We have several areas of competitive advantage:

  • Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering (AME): across the West Midlands Combined Authority. £16.4bn GVA is attributed to AME, which is 14.1% of the whole economy, higher than other regions.

  • Construction is a significant part of the local economy and key enabler of economic growth and job creation. Modular construction is estimated to be worth £2-3bn per year in the UK, with modular build growing by 25% annually.

  • Logistics & Transport Cluster: the 3 Cities region is recognised as a supply chain centre with a large logistics network. £5bn GVA is attributed to the logistics and transport sector within the region. 

  • Low Carbon & Environmental Technologies contribute £3.6bn in GVA to the region’s economy and form our competitive advantage in energy systems. 

The acceleration of retrofit will require significant growth in the supply chain and workforce

To achieve our retrofit ambitions as the 3 Cities, we recognise that our activities must also include plans to grow the low carbon supply chain by focusing on the development of new skills within the labour market.


Join us as we journey towards a modernised, highly skilled labour market that will pioneer the future of these green jobs around housing, in line with net zero commitments as well as wider opportunities in operation and maintenance

Across the 3 Cities, we already have a varied skill base to draw upon

We’re ready to harness the opportunities that come from having one of the youngest and fastest growing populations across Europe, and the talented skills in our colleges and universities. Retrofit is a pathway to improve skills and create long lasting green jobs, directly benefitting local citizens.


  • 40% of the population is younger than 25 - one of the youngest in Europe


  • There are 9 universities across the cities, including 2 in the World’s Top 100, generating over 56,000 graduates a year

  • Includes University of Birmingham’s Sustainable Energy Research and Innovation Centre and the National Brownfield Institute at Wolverhampton University, Europe’s largest specialist built environment campus with a focus on MMC

  • 9 further education colleges providing our future skills and labour force within the 3 Cities


  • The Local Government Association estimates by 2030, the cities will require an additional 5,500 green jobs
  • Together, the 3 Cities are the number one regional destination for start-ups

  • The Manufacturing and Technology Centre in Coventry is bridging the gap between academia and industry

  • National Centre for Decarbonisation of Heat at Tyseley Energy Park in Birmingham is a transitional energy cluster and collaborative partnership between business, academia, government and industry

  • The Energy Research Accelerator, the first truly embedded cross-disciplinary energy research hub in the UK, drawing on expertise of Midlands Innovation group of universities

  • The 3 Cities have more people employed in the Advanced Engineering and Automotive sectors than anywhere else in the UK. This presents a significant opportunity to support the new labour force required around retrofit.
  • The National Centre for Sustainable Construction in Wolverhampton is retraining workers in low carbon jobs to support the necessary skills development.