Lack of understanding around green STEM jobs

| Industrial Sector News

STEM skills need to be addressed to meet achieve future climate goals

A new report by EngineeringUK suggests the UK could be sleep walking towards a net zero skills shortage.

The net zero workforce report is an analysis of almost 30 research reports from across the engineering sector into the green jobs and engineering skills needed to decarbonise all sectors of the UK economy. It reveals neither a consistent understanding of the future demand for engineering and technical skills needed at a national level to meet net zero targets by 2050, nor of the implications for those coming through STEM secondary and tertiary education.

It recommends that if the government is to deliver its carbon reduction targets, it needs to get better at understanding the number of future green jobs and skills of people working in the sectors crucial to achieving the UK’s net zero commitments.

To have a workforce that’s ready to respond to the climate crisis, there needs to be people with the right engineering skills and other STEM backgrounds. The report highlights there is no ‘back-casting’ being undertaken to understand whether we have the necessary numbers of young people acquiring STEM qualifications at secondary and tertiary education levels to tackle these challenges.

According to Mike Hardisty, Head of Environmental Sustainability at EngineeringUK, more needs to be done to encourage and enable young people across the UK to take up STEM-based qualifications with a view to tackling the climate crisis.

“If we don’t have enough young people studying chemistry and physics now, for example, it could lead to a shortage of electrical and chemical engineers, which means we will not have the necessary skills in the future workforce,” he says.

Jonathan Newell
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