By Emily Jones, Deputy Director at Learning and Work Institute
The UK Government’s commitment to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 will bring a major shift in the labour market – with changes to existing jobs, the creation of new ones, and the growth of jobs already considered to be ‘green’.
The existing workforce will need to adapt through upskilling and reskilling, facilitated by the further education and skills system as well as on-the-job training. This will come alongside other ongoing changes to our economy and labour market, which will continue to affect the jobs available and skills required, as well as demographics, meaning people will experience more of these changes over longer working lives.
Learning and Work Institute’s (L&W) New Futures programme, funded by the Covid-19 Support Fund, is exploring what support people need to retrain and change careers. To mark the end of COP 27, we have published a new briefing paper on adults’ awareness of and interest in green skills for work – with research carried out as part of L&W’s annual Adult Participation in Learning Survey.
Given that individuals are also changing their behaviour and use of energy, to help reduce carbon emissions but also due to the cost of living and energy skills, we also survey respondents were asked to rate their confidence to take different actions to reduce their energy use.
These results not only highlight the scale of work to be done to raise awareness of green skills and green jobs, but also that some groups may be more likely to miss out on opportunities due to lower levels of awareness and understanding, as well as the barriers they face. This emphasises the need for an inclusive approach to green growth, where opportunities are fairly distributed.
Emily Jones is Deputy Director at Learning and Work Institute