In tandem with COP27, a new report by Graham Hasting-Evans (President of the British Associate of Construction Heads and Chief Executive of NOCN Group) outlines the challenge faced by the UK in meeting its climate change commitments.
The report, titled Greening the UK’s Skills underlines that the transition to Net Zero will only be possible with a skilled ‘green’ workforce to build, operate and maintain the necessary assets for energy, retrofit and carbon capture as well as related infrastructure in the logistics, utilities and transportation industries.
Whilst the UK has great engineering, science and technology skills to support the drive to Net Zero, it lacks enough people with those skills, particularly the operational workforce, mainly at Level 2, that can build, operate and maintain ‘green’ physical environmental assets.
There is still confusion about what is meant by ‘Green Skills’ and what these mean at a practical level for technical and vocational education in the context of the UK’s skills eco-system.
This paper aims to help to clarify this and sets out the range of adapted and new skills the UK’s economy will urgently need to build and operate over the next 5 to 10 years if we are to be successful in addressing the major challenges created by climate change.
In addition, it stresses the urgent need for collaboration between employers, training providers, awarding organisations, Trade Unions and all the industry bodies such as CITB, ECITB, manufacturers, professional and trade bodies, on a co-ordinated 5-to-10-year programme to meet the UK Net Zero commitments.
Commenting on the publication of the report, Chief Operating Officer at IfATE, Robert Nitsch said:
“IfATE welcomes this report from NOCN and BACH. There can be no doubt that there is a need to re-orientate to Green across the economy and that skills are an essential part of this. IfATE is absolutely committed to ensuring that its apprenticeships and technical qualifications fully embrace sustainability priorities and is getting on with this work as a matter of urgency – the report helpfully lays out the size of the challenge which we all have a part in resolving.”
Report author, Graham Hasting-Evans says:
“The great risk facing the planet is climate change. If we are to successfully tackle this life-threatening challenge we must develop and build our ‘Green Skills’, including crucially at Level 2, within the operational workforce.”