Training plans that support green skills for our future

5 minutes read

Leading online learning provider is committed to tackling the green skills gap by providing a range of sustainability-focused online courses. 

UK online provider, Learndirect, is exploring the increasing demand for sustainability knowledge and skills by offering a range of online qualifications focused on protecting and enhancing the future of our planet. 

Ranging from Level 3 Awards in community-focused conservation to ecological mapping and fashion sustainability, the online education organisation has introduced a range of regulated courses, with more anticipated to launch shortly. The immersive Level 3 Diploma Marine Biology and Ocean Conservation Studies is the first offering to be Ofqual regulated, offering a range of career opportunities and experiences. 

The announcement by Learndirect to utilise the opportunities in the sustainability industry is timely, with research suggesting that aside from AI and Machine Learning, sustainability is the fastest-growing profession worldwide. Furthermore, research suggests worldwide, the demand for green skills is 40% higher than in 2015, but only 13% of the workforce worldwide has developed the necessary skills.

The UK Government has taken steps to reduce carbon emissions, with its Environment Agency committed to achieving net zero by 2030, while the nation is aiming for 2050. This represents the increasing demand for green skills across multiple industries, with green jobs in 2022 increasing by approximately four times faster than the overall employment market in the UK.

Wayne Janse Van Rensburg, the Group CEO at Learndirect, explains that it’s clear the demand for green skills is growing fast, with many people particularly interested in entering the industry and supporting a sustainable society. Learndirect is focusing on meeting this demand by providing a range of regulated courses equipped for learning and developing the necessary green skills for the future.

Dr Nick Askew, Co-Director of Learndirect’s sustainability section, emphasises that businesses continue implementing sustainable measures. The government plans to achieve net zero by 2050 by decarbonising all industries, and the workforce must develop green skills to protect and preserve our environment. 

Meanwhile, studies suggest that job search for skills has increased considerably, while companies are starting to value sustainability professionals for exec and technical positions.

Studies suggest that nearly 70% of business leaders believe the nation is moving towards a green skills shortage. In a survey of 500 business decision-makers, 57% believe green specialist skills are vital to their business, but many struggle to find skilled staff, especially in sustainable engineering and sustainable finance. To fill this gap, nearly 30% of companies are actively exploring opportunities and determining future business requirements, and 26% invest in training plans to upskill and prepare their employees for the future.

Workers are also identifying the gap in the job market. A separate study of 2,000 employed professionals discovered that nearly 30% are exploring a green job as their next move, but many are unsure if they have the right skills to pursue a green career. Many existing professionals are considering switching careers to green opportunities in the renewable energy industry, sustainable investment and sustainable construction. 

Many people are actively looking for an opportunity that positively impacts the planet, while other professionals are committed to securing their careers for the future. To ensure skills are compatible with future green jobs, 28% plan to pursue new training programs and online courses to gain the necessary qualifications.

Joanna Bonnett, Head of Sustainability at PageGroup, explains that it’s no surprise that many professionals consider the green industry a vital career move. While this is positive, many people considering moving to the green sector feel they lack the necessary skills. To ensure the UK progresses with the green transition, it’s critical for decision-makers, businesses and education groups to work together and invest in preparing people for the future. Taking these necessary steps will deliver a pipeline of talent for the jobs of the future and eliminate the green skills shortage, which, if not addressed, could impact progress toward net zero. 

Most decision-makers recognise that new employees must show their recognition of climate change, with many believing it a priority to prepare their organisation for a green future. Reports indicate that over 40% of businesses are working toward their sustainability goals, despite the current economic conditions. Many organisations appreciate the long-term financial benefits of sustainability and consider it an opportunity to strengthen their business. The study by suggested that 34% of professionals highlight the negative implications on the environment as the driving force for considering green work. Many people are motivated by the media and aware that the job industry is changing.

With over 20% of businesses currently recruiting for green roles, its organisations appreciate the significance of the green transition and the benefits to their business and employees that come with a green future.

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