Supporting green skills and jobs

24th March 2022


Major legislative shifts and new policy initiatives point to a brighter future for the natural environment.

They include the development of long-term targets in areas such as air quality and biodiversity, the cross-departmental environmental principles statement being drawn up by Defra, and the establishment of the Office for Environmental Protection.

It took a long time to get the Environment Act over the line, but it does seem that the building blocks for a greener society are being put into place. However, while the Act and various policy developments stemming from it are important, they alone will not be enough to ensure the delivery of outcomes that better support the natural environment. Achieving this will require wider interventions, including a robust plan for developing green skills and jobs. IEMA called on the government to establish a National Green Skills and Jobs Strategy at the beginning of 2021, and would still encourage this.

There is an onus on industry and on us, as the UK’s largest professional body for environment and sustainability professionals, to drive this forward. In partnership with Deloitte, we are developing a series of tools to help organisations assess their staff’s readiness to participate in the green economy and identify practical steps that can be taken to increase preparedness.

This isn’t just about increasing the number of sustainability roles that exist across the economy: it is also about ensuring that sustainability skills exist in roles that support better environmental outcomes, for example in finance and procurement.

The tools and resources under development with Deloitte will be published in due course.

Image credit | iStock

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