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The path to net zero requires a green skill focus

As the UK moves towards its net zero goals, it faces a myriad of skill shortages across all industries and sectors, as the government puts added pressure on businesses to decarbonise for the future. This transition to net zero creates new economic opportunities as new roles are required to manage new and emerging technologies, but also requires new skills in the UK’s workforce. Businesses must take responsibility for their workforce and ensure they promote green skills learning and mindsets when it comes to maintaining high-quality human capital in their organisations, says Rehan Haque, CEO of metatalent.ai.

As the UK moves towards its net zero goals, it faces a myriad of skill shortages across all industries and sectors, as the government puts pressure on businesses to decarbonise for the future. This transition to net zero creates new economic opportunities as new roles are required to manage new and emerging technologies, but also requires new skills in the UK’s workforce.  

Sectors with the most pressing emissions reductions by 2030 face the most immediate skills shortages – most notably including housing and transport. By 2030, 80% of the current workforce will still be active, so it is imperative that workers now have access to training and upskilling tools, lest they be left behind completely as we transition towards a greener future. 

Rehan Haque, CEO of metatalent.ai, believes that businesses must take responsibility for their workforce and ensure they promote green skills learning and mindsets when it comes to maintaining high-quality human capital in their organisations. “Green skills programmes, in tandem with government reform, are key in levelling up business agendas, ensuring workers can cope with the technologies needed for efficient and effective transition, and creating a greener economy in the future.  

“The post-pandemic working culture is even more driven than ever. It helped change the mindsets of workers completely, as workers now seek employment in places more aligned to their values. Yet the UK is still at an all-time high skills scarcity when it comes to ensuring talent has the skillset required for the future. This scarcity additionally includes green skills – the knowledge, abilities, values and attitudes needed to live in, develop and support a sustainable society.” 

“Business leaders not only need to prioritise a flexible culture of constant support, learning and improvement when it comes to their workforce skills – they also need to look at providing their workforce with the training programmes and tools to develop a greener mindset. Current workers aren’t going away any time soon, so a focus on transferring skills and retraining for the green economy is key for businesses seeking to support and upskill their operational teams.” 

Haque believes the mindset in the working world has shifted dramatically. “We used to think just about jobs, but now we think in terms of skills. With green skills required across all sectors – especially for decarbonising the transport, housing and heavy industry sectors in the UK, which are the highest contributors to UK greenhouse gas emissions – a greener mindset is required as well as a technologically adaptable skillset. A workforce with a conscious attitude towards the environment, as well as constantly evolving green skills training, helps make the steps towards a net zero economy that much more possible for our future.” 

“Businesses with a responsible and accountable workforce, armed with technical skills training provided by an AI-moderated talent upskilling programmes, are sure to be prepared for the demands of the future, and not only survive but thrive as the working environment continues to evolve around emerging technology and the demands of net zero.” 

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    15 July 2024

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