The Clock is Ticking, but the Skills Roadmap is there to reach net-zero-carbon by 2030
The Mayor’s commitment to make London net-zero-carbon by 2030 has major implications across all parts of our economy. It will influence the kind of jobs Londoners do, the skills we need and the training needed to bridge the gap. The clock is ticking.
Today I will appear before the London Assembly’s Environment Committee to discuss how we can ensure the capital has the low-carbon skills needed to deliver a successful transition to net zero.
Data-driven because the LSIP is based on speaking to over 1000 employers, training providers and others to assess the London labour market and its key challenges.
Green skills were one of the major areas we focused on in the LSIP. We know there is growing demand for these skills, especially in finance, housing, buildings, power and transport. Jobs in green priority sectors are expected to increase rapidly to 505,000 by 2030.
We also need to upskill those in work, because the evidence from businesses is that many – even those with right backgrounds to upskill — lack the awareness about the skills and training they need or will need, and employees also say they are not receiving the training they need.
As roles change to encompass green skills, there will be a significant demand for training provision to support the transition.
The London LSIP found there will likely be increased requirements for skilled trade workers like electricians, plumbers and in construction trades, which are already areas of significant shortage. Demand for the specific skills needed for developing green technology (such as electric vehicle charging point and heat pump installers) is also likely to grow.
Across industry companies are increasingly looking to recruit carbon and sustainability managers who bring core carbon literacy and project management skills. Digital technology, such as the use of building management and Geographic Information Systems, is also seen by employers as a vital tool for reducing carbon emissions.
For training to be delivered successfully we need less jargon – which can deter interest for both employers and employees — and clearer demand signals from the Government; for example, through a policy to retrofit, which would encourage investment in a stable green skills pipeline.
The Mayor’s five Skills Academy Hubs are helping to tackle this challenge by drawing together employers, education providers and sector bodies to deliver a clear pathway into employment.
Good work is being done independently by the private sector, such as the partnership between South Thames College collaborating on new courses with Solar Energy UK to help feed the solar technology industry.
Nevertheless, the scale of this challenge is vast and more work is needed. The LSIP identifies that further work between the boroughs, the Greater London Authority (GLA) and others can amplify this success. Creating carbon literacy training, increasing the uptake of electrical engineering courses, and upscaling retrofit would all contribute.
Multi-year funding settlements, including those for the Skills Academies Hubs, would help with aligning employment demands and the provision of green skills within the LSIP framework. So would more modular solutions and making it easier for smaller employers to navigate the employment and skills systems.
Employers must play their part in overcoming barriers including the lack of diversity in green jobs. Equally, employers need more access to schools to help change perceptions and inspire young people. The costs of travel also remain a disincentive for the disadvantaged.
Through the pathways identified in the LSIP, the Mayor can also help on all these fronts. For example, by a one-stop shop model supporting job seekers and co-locating Job Centre Plus, careers providers and the National Careers Service. The GLA could also play a co-ordinating role for work placements of young people.
To meet the challenge of creating London’s green skills, the London LSIP’s roadmap can reach Londoners of all ages and backgrounds and help equip people across the capital. It will be vital to help Londoners, employers and training providers create the correct pipeline of talent.
London has an opportunity to transition to a sustainable society at the forefront of global cities and UK action on climate change.
For more information on BusinessLDN’s people and skills programme, including the London LSIP, please contact Edward Richardson, Programme Director, People & Skills: firstname.lastname@example.org / 02076651428.
There are still spaces at our event on green skills on 7th November, hosted by Leonie Cooper AM at City Hall, in partnership with WSP. We will be discussing the action required to build an inclusive and green workforce for a sustainable London. For further information contact email@example.com