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The latest report from WorldSkills UK and the Institute for Training and Work explores barriers to closing green skills gaps – FE News


Businesses cite rising energy costs as a reason to urgently improve environmental skills

Despite the desire to work to combat climate change – and the growing demand from employers for green skills – young people do not fully understand what “green skills” and “green jobs” are, warns report published today (Friday).

He warns that the UK risks preventing its net zero targets and losing attracted investment and high-paying jobs because young people’s appetite for work in the fight against climate change is hampered by a lack of advice and support on how to make a green career.

The report shows that young people are fully aware of the dangers facing the planet: 71% said they want to fight climate change, and 62% said they are passionate about sustainability. However, they do not know how to turn this hobby into a career.

Meanwhile, employers clearly understand that they already have problems due to lack of green qualifications. They expect things to get worse, and aren’t sure the education system can solve the problem.

Three-fifths (59%) of employers said they needed green skills now or would in the future, and two-thirds (67%) of them had difficulty recruiting staff with the right skills. More than two-fifths (43%) said they had difficulty getting energy costs rising, and 39% said the education system was unable to give young people the skills they needed.

Other key findings in the report made by the WorldSkills UK Institute for Training and Work include:

  • 71% of employers said they have a duty to help fight climate change
  • 79% of young people said it was important to work for an organization working to combat climate change
  • 87% of young people said they did not know what green skills were
  • Young women (83%) more often than young men (77%) said it was important to work in an organization that seeks to combat climate change.
  • However, there is a significant gender gap in young people’s knowledge and understanding of green skills: young women (72%) are more likely to say they have never heard of green skills, compared to young men (53%).

Green skills are defined as the skills needed to help rebuild a green economy aimed at reducing carbon emissions. This can range from technical green skills, such as skills related to construction, engineering or manufacturing, to more general green skills such as project management, change management, leadership and communication skills.

At the back of the report WorldSkills UK said it would develop career tips to inspire younger people for green careers. It will also align it skill competitions curricula for young people and professional development programs for teachers to meet industry needs and help increase the attractiveness of the UK for overseas firms wishing to invest in green jobs and skills.

WorldSkills UK CEO Dr Neil Bentley-Hawkman OBE said:

“Employers are seeing a growing demand for green skills, and young people want careers that will help the planet. We need to make it easier to be green by harnessing this hidden potential and helping guide young people to careers in areas such as clean technology and decarbonisation. Our recent career event dedicated to green jobs has brought together leading employers to inspire young people and better explain what is needed to create a green career.

“Helping to meet the UK’s ambitions to pure zero is essential for the planet and also opens up huge opportunities for the economy. Increasing world-class environmental skills can help consolidate

The UK’s position as a leading destination for foreign direct investment, boosting productivity and creating highly skilled well-paid green jobs in our countries and regions ”.

Stephen Evans, CEO of the Institute for Training and Work:

“Fighting climate change will create new jobs and change the skills needed in many roles. From this report it is clear that many young people are highly motivated to contribute to these changes, but do not know how this should affect their career choices.

“Clearly about this can help industries at the forefront of striving for pure zero to attract the best talent from the next generation. It will require a partnership between the education system and employers, inspiring young people to help transform our country. ”

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