67% of business leaders believe UK is heading for shortage of green skills

Green skills

A poll of 500 business decision-makers finds 67% believe the UK is heading towards a green skills shortage.

The research, commissioned by global recruitment firm Michael Page which is part of FTSE 250 PageGroup, also found that 57% of business leaders asked believe specialised green skills are important to their companies.

However, Michael Page says many of those surveyed are struggling to find skilled staff, particularly in sustainable engineering and finance.

To plug the skills gap, the research found 27% are actively identifying opportunities and anticipating future business needs. While 26% are investing in professional training to upskill and prepare their existing workforce and 23% are offering more on-the-job training and apprenticeships.

55% of decision-makers for businesses also said it’s important that new staff demonstrate their consciousness about climate change.

A separate poll, also conducted by Michael Page, of 2,000 employed adults found 27% are considering a green job as their next career move and 47% thinking about switching to a green job are considering work in the renewable energy sector. 73% started exploring green opportunities in just the last two years.

Nearly half of those considering a green job do not believe they have the right skills to do so.

49% of employed adults considering the switch also wanted a role that “positively impacted” the planet, while 36% wanted to future-proof their careers. 28% plan to undergo training related to their current specialism, with 26% exploring online courses to achieve the necessary qualifications.

Joanna Bonnett, Head of Sustainability at PageGroup, commented: “We’re not surprised to learn that so many workers view green industries as a critical career move. While this is great news, nearly half of those considering a green job do not believe they have the right skills to do so.

“To ensure the UK succeeds in its green transition efforts, it’s crucial for policymakers, businesses, and educational organisations to collaborate and invest in properly preparing the workforce.

“Doing so will create a pipeline of talent that is ready for the jobs of the future and tackle the green skills shortage, which, if not addressed, could drastically slow down net zero efforts.”

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