The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee has today (Monday 25 October 2021) published a report with wide ranging recommendations for government on improving green skills and jobs in the UK. The report says that government is “not sufficiently grappling skills gap needed for net zero” and draws on written and oral evidence submitted to the committee by IEMA’s Director of Policy and External Affairs, Martin Baxter.

Among the swathe of recommendations, the report has called for the government to define ‘green jobs, to pilot a National Nature Service in 2022, to “set out a programme to encourage development of relevant skills across the construction trade”, to publish a “just transition plan” by the end of 2021, and called for “environmental sustainability” to be embedded in school and college curricula.

Martin Baxter said:

“Achieving a net-zero future and hitting our long-term environmental goals will require all jobs to be done in a greener way. We also need to equip tomorrow’s workforce with the skills and capability to play their part in the Green Industrial Revolution.

“We welcome the Committee’s recommendations and urge Government to implement the policies and actions set out in the report. For our own part, we will ensure that IEMA and the environment and sustainability profession makes a full contribution, including through the establishment of a sustainability careers hub.”

The report also highlights the need for the environment and sustainability sector to improve diversity and inclusion, specifically asking government to “set out its ambitions for improving diversity and inclusion in the green workforce and set out how it will measure diversity and inclusion in green jobs”. The committee advises that the government “set out how it will adapt its Careers Strategy to align with its net zero and environmental goals, including how it will reach different groups of the population to increase awareness of green job opportunities and how to access them”.

IEMA’s Diverse Sustainability Initiative, which recently celebrated its 6-month anniversary, will be leading the way in improving the inclusion of under-represented groups working in sustainability and environmental roles.


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