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HomeRenewablesAssociation of CollegesUrgent skills reform needed for UK’s net zero, say experts

Urgent skills reform needed for UK’s net zero, say experts

Technical and vocational training in the UK must undergo a complete overhaul to meet the country’s net zero target.

That’s according to a new study from a collective of businesses, trade unions and academia, which lays out recommendations for achieving a fair and inclusive workforce transition.

The report was compiled through contributions from esteemed entities like the Climate Change Committee, National Grid, Energy Systems Catapult, JCB, Rolls-Royce, and the Association of Colleges.

One of the key recommendations of the report is the establishment of a “well-funded” and “flexible” education system that can facilitate the development of new qualifications in emerging low carbon technologies.

Additionally, the report emphasises the importance of destigmatising vocational training, particularly apprenticeships, to raise the status of green skills.

Another aspect underscored in the report is the necessity of a fair jobs transition towards net zero, wherein no jobs are lost but rather repurposed or retrained.

The Future Energy Skills Programme, co-headed by Centrica Chief Executive Officer Chris O’Shea and GMB General Secretary Gary Smith, further calls for a clearer government strategy on areas such as hydrogen, home heating, small nuclear and carbon capture utilisation and storage.

Chris O’Shea, Group Chief Executive of Centrica, said: “Across political parties, industry and society there is now a consensus for the move towards net zero – but our ability to get there, and to do it in a way that is fair and affordable to everyone, needs to be examined.

“An ageing workforce, lack of apprentices, inadequate and inflexible vocational training, and a lack of diversity in the energy industry are just some of the challenges standing in the way.”

Gary Smith, General Secretary at GMB, said: “The UK must transform our skills agenda, from the classroom to the frontline of energy delivery, to secure a successful climate jobs transition to net zero.

“The scale of the challenge is clear, and the price of failure is staring us in the face with the offshoring of hundreds of thousands of good jobs and tens of billions of pounds in investment over the next generation to the rest of the world.”

Energy Live News
Energy Live News
This article first appeared on Energy Live News, an award winning news service. Their mission is to give you balanced news, analysis, commentary of energy from their dedicated team of quality journalists and production staff.
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