Skills deficit must be tackled to reach net zero

The Aldersgate Group has called for urgent action to tackle the deficit in skills undermining growth of low carbon supply chains across the UK economy.

On 15 October, it called for a comprehensive low carbon skills strategy based on several key recommendations, including embedding environmental sustainability and the net zero goal in the national curriculum across all stages of the education system. This focus on sustainability should also be fully reflected in teaching qualifications and the governance of the education system – with the group noting that three quarters (75%) of teachers had said they had not received adequate training to teach students about climate change.

It recommended higher education and further education institutions are supported to better meet the needs of local employers and low carbon job creation; for the UK to reform its approach to apprenticeship standards and mid-career reskilling to have an effective net zero education system; and for local bodies to be better empowered to support low carbon investment, job creation and skills provision in their areas, owed to them often being better placed to understand local needs.

Drawing on recent policy announcements in areas such as offshore wind, it also called for the government to progress work to put in place a comprehensive plan to put the UK on a credible pathway towards net zero. A clear suite of policies, it explained, would be essential to growing demand in low carbon infrastructure, goods and services, with a positive knock on impact on job creation and demand for low carbon skills.

Aldersgate Group