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Green Education

Green Education and Training and its importance on the talent gap

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Understanding the economic and social relationship between climate change and employment mean global organisations and national leaders are implementing new policies to support an inclusive green workforce. The transition towards a green working future does, however, have its challenges.

A greener economy impacts our well-being and social equality while reducing environmental impact and minimising the use of natural resources. Countries with a green vision for the future are developing new measures to accelerate this transition. To get there means businesses and governments need to eradicate the barriers and emphasise the real socio-economic benefits of green industry jobs through decisive measures, education and attracting new and diverse talent to the industry.

To drive more green jobs and create the talent needed to transform the world requires rethinking how business activities operate and changing legal regulations.

Climate change represents one of the biggest challenges of our time. Many people feel overwhelmed with how they can have a positive impact. The obstacles involved with climate action are significant. To move away from a global economy that is impactful to one more sustainable requires education as an initial starting point. 

The concept of green jobs growth is to generate new employment opportunities, enhance economic prosperity and support the transition to a low-carbon economy. Yet studies have indicated that people have little or no knowledge of the availability of green skills. Reports highlight the need for increased environmental and climate knowledge, particularly within industries forecasted to experience significant growth in the next few years. People are actively looking to improve their understanding and training on addressing the impacts of the climate crisis.

A survey of nearly 2,000 UK academics discovered that many believe climate and environmentally-related content on curriculums isn’t good enough to support individuals in progressing their careers. Conducted by the Royal Society of Chemistry, the report explored the existing condition of green skills and the teaching of climate-related skills. The overall finding was that the current information on climate change and sustainability was not delivering the required knowledge and skills required by the future green workforce.

The report acknowledges the importance of education and its direct relationship to the climate crisis and other areas of environmental sustainability. The majority of the respondents highlighted that it was critical to connect sustainability in training and courses. A similar proportion believes training and education programs lack the necessary support to pursue a future career in the green industry.

Respondents believe there is already an existing skills gap in green industry jobs. There is a responsibility to educate and inspire young people throughout their education, to prepare them for the challenges the world will face in the future and the careers that directly develop from these events. As the younger generation progress through education, these challenges will become an even bigger priority, and the job market will look very different.

Despite this knowledge and the UK’s focus to generate two million green jobs by 2030 and net-zero by 2050, many academics, professionals and students feel the education and training isn’t adequate to create the skills and knowledge needed to meet those future careers.

At the COP26 climate summit, education minister Nadhim Zahawi delivered a planned Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy for Schools report. The document included proposals for greening education and the overall national curriculum.

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