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A green future is coming

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A green future is coming – the government must be ready to support the progression

A failure to recognise and invest in training and education will result in Britain falling behind in a surging industry. Signals of confidence in the UK economic strategy are beginning to show. For example, Cambridge semiconductor and software technology business leader ARM recently selected the New York market for listing on the London Stock Exchange.

Considering the depth and variety of high-tech financing and industry in the US, it’s no surprise that businesses are attracted to markets overseas. For the UK to remain competitive, it should focus on the sectors of the future and try to deliver more of what they require to enable accelerated progress.

With the world rapidly progressing and economies moving quickly to embrace new, green technologies, the UK must ensure conditions favour these industries to succeed. A recent report has highlighted that over two-thirds of UK business leaders believe the country is moving towards a green skills shortage. As a result, many companies face challenges in finding skilled talent in areas such as sustainable engineering and finance.

The solution to this challenge, as emphasised in recent studies, is that to ensure the UK progresses with its green transition plans, businesses, policymakers and educational groups must work together and invest in planning for the future workforce. Joanna Bonnett, head of sustainability at PageGroup, explains that implementing this process will deliver a talent pipeline prepared for future jobs and tackle the green skills shortage, which, if not recognised, could dramatically hinder net zero plans.

Both industry and government would be welcome if they were to implement these supportive measures because many employees similarly identify this gap in the employment industry. A separate study of 2,000 UK employees discovered that a quarter is especially interested in a green career as their next move, though many are unsure if they have the required skills. Investing in preparing people for a green future should be a given based on our plans. Carbon-neutral is a government policy, and green industry training is something the government can manage and finance. 

A total of 49% of employed adults consider a move to a green industry, also looking for an opportunity that positively impacts the planet. The study also showed that 36% want to solidify their careers, and 28% intend to participate in additional training and online courses to achieve the necessary qualifications. Joanna Bonnett, Head of Sustainability at PageGroup, explains that they weren’t surprised to learn that many employees consider green industries a critical career plan. 

While this is positive news, nearly half of this group considering a green career feel they lack the necessary skills to embrace a move. To ensure the UK progresses with the green transition, policymakers, businesses, and educational groups must collaborate and invest in preparing the workforce required. By implementing these steps, the UK can deliver a pipeline of talent for the jobs of the future and alleviate the potential green skills shortage we face, and if not addressed, could slow down progress towards net zero.

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