Professor Ewart Keep, emeritus professor in Education, Training and Skills at the Department of Education, Oxford University

Joint DBEIS and DfE Green Jobs Taskforce 

Given the importance attached by the UK Government to achieving Net Zero, the consequent employment and skills needs are rising up the policy agenda. Whitehall has responded by establishing a joint Department for Energy and Industrial Strategy and Department for Education Green Jobs Taskforce (GJT). A report is expected hopefully at some point in June. This will set out high level skills and employment projections, and a roadmap for action from sectors, employers and education and training providers.

Coherent and effective responses from providers to these relatively high-level projections will require further work. We will need more detailed projections and timelines from individual sectors and industries that can accommodate the fact that some types of green job (e.g those associated with offshore wind and the de-carbonisation of large industrial clusters like Teesside) will be concentrated in particular locations.

The Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB), which represent the firms that build power stations, factories and pipelines, has already created a model report for their sector (see Towards Net Zero: The implications of the transition to net zero for the Engineering Construction Industry).

Other sectors need to deliver equally coherent and detailed forecasts of what will be needed, by when and where.

Green Skills for New Jobs and Existing Jobs

A key point that is already emerging from existing forecasts about green skills is that while a lot of media attention is focused on entirely new occupations and skill sets, many of the skill requirements will be met by re-training or upskilling the existing adult workforce. Green skills are not just about new jobs and new entrants to the labour market. Both changing skill requirements within existing jobs and entirely new occupations are likely to occur on a relatively large scale. Knowing what skills, at what levels and where in the country they will be needed is essential to crafting an effective response.

Training and Retraining

The garage trade is one example. Some mechanics will need to acquire new skills to be able to service electric vehicles. Others will need to re-train for another occupation, as electric vehicles will require less frequent and complex servicing than internal combustion drive systems currently demand.

Plumbers will need to learn about heat pumps and gas engineers may be required (depending on how widely it is adopted) about hydrogen and mixed fuel boiler installation and servicing.

Granular Labour Market Intelligence

These kinds of re- and upskilling demands require detailed monitoring and the generation of granular Labour Market Intelligence (LMI). If employers, professional bodies and sectoral organisations cannot provide the required information in a timely manner, skill shortages may well ensue.

Transmitting Labour Market Intelligence

Having generated the required LMI, there will be a need to ensure that it is transmitted to all those who need to use it to make plans – IfATE, universities, colleges and private training providers, professional bodies, Local Enterprise Partnerships, Mayoral Combined Authorities, and awarding bodies. Given that we have more of a skills marketplace than a system in England, and a very fragmented one at that, the question of who will take the lead in coordinating the dissemination of LMI and ensuring that a coherent response emerges, is at this stage unclear.

Yet LMI will only be of use if it enables providers and the policy and funding infrastructure that supports them to make sound forward plans and strategic investment decisions, thereby delivering the new staff and new teaching facilities, new qualifications and micro-credentials that will be needed.

Careers Information, Advice and Guidance

On the other side of the equation – student demand – it will be vital that LMI on green skills feeds into coherent careers information, advice and guidance (CIAG), for both young people and for adults. If people are unaware of the opportunities that are going to be emerging, they will not seek to acquire the skills that will be needed.

It is also the case that many of the new and changing occupational requirements driven by Net Zero will be in occupations and industries that currently suffer major problems with workforce diversity. High quality CIAG can help to start to change this.

Level 4+ Green Skills

Many of the skills needed will be at a relatively high level (level 4 and above) and therefore relatively expensive to provide. As a consequence, coordination between and specialisation amongst providers will be required, as not every provider will be able to afford to tool up to deliver everything.

Recommendation 1

Sectoral and professional bodies need to deliver to providers detailed forecasts of future skill need and to monitor the development of these demands as they evolve.

Recommendation 2

LMI needs to feed through into high quality CIAG for young people and adults that can help ensure that individuals are aware of the new employment opportunities that moves to net zero are creating.

Recommendation 3

There needs to be oversight and coordination of the education and training response to green skills, so that investment decisions and forward planning can provide a joined-up and coherent pattern of provision that meets needs and avoids major skill shortages.

Professor Ewart Keep, emeritus professor in Education, Training and Skills at the Department of Education, Oxford University

Racing to Net Zero - the role of post-16 education and skills

The UK needs comprehensive jobs and skills plan to successfully support and drive the transition to Net Zero.  

This is the conclusion of Campaign for Learning on publishing a new collection of expert views - Racing to Net Zero - the role of post-16 education and skills,

This pamphlet brings together experts on Net Zero and post-16 education, skills and employment policy. The sixteen contributors offer real insights about how post-16 education and skills policy can support the race to Net Zero here in the UK.

Contributors to Racing to Net Zero:

Shaun Spiers, Green AllianceGreening the Economy, Greening the Environment
Stephen Evans, Learning and Work InstituteA more ambitious Net Zero ‘Economic, Jobs and Skills’ Plan
Paul Nowak, TUCWorkers, Skills and the Net Zero Economy
Duncan Brown, EmsiThe Demand for Green Jobs and Green Skills
Ewart Keep, University of OxfordLabour Market Intelligence for Green Jobs and Green Skills
Jane Hickie, AELPFilling Green Jobs with Level 2+ Apprenticeships
Calum Carson, ERSAFilling Green Jobs through Employment Support Schemes
David Hughes, Association of CollegesFE Colleges, Upskilling, Reskilling and Net Zero
Susan Pember, HOLEXAdult and Community Education and Net Zero
Nick Hillman, HEPIUniversities and Net Zero
Bill Watkin, Six Form Colleges Association16-18 Education and Net Zero
John Widdowson, Former FE Principal16-18 Level 3 T Levels and Net Zero
Rebecca Conway, Federation of Awarding BodiesNet Zero and the ‘Level 3 and Below’ Curriculum
Charlotte Bonner, Education and Training FoundationEducation for Sustainable Development and the FE Workforce
Adrian Anderson, UVACGreen Jobs, Apprenticeships and Higher Technical Education
Victoria Hands and Stephen Peake, The Open UniversityEducation for Sustainable Development in Higher Education

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Battle of Ideas Festival #OpenForDebate with #SkillsWorldLive


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 19 hours 39 minutes ago

Educating yourself in Prison: an inside job

Educating yourself in Prison: an inside job

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 19 hours 39 minutes ago

RT @NCFE: ‘For as long as humans have worked, and whatever industry they may have worked in, success has always been predicated on having t…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page