More than two-thirds of business leaders believe the country is heading towards a green skills shortage. A poll of 500 decision makers found 57 percent think these specialised skills are important to their business – but many are struggling to find skilled staff, particularly in the areas of sustainable engineering and finance.
To plug this gap, almost three in ten (27 percent) are actively identifying opportunities, and anticipating future business needs.
Over a quarter (26 percent) are investing in professional training to upskill and prepare their existing workforce, while another 23 percent are offering more on-the-job training and apprenticeships.
But workers are also identifying this gap in the job market – as a separate poll of 2,000 employed adults found that 27 percent are eyeing up a green job as their next career move, although many are unsure if they have the necessary skills.
The research was commissioned by global recruitment experts, Michael Page, part of FTSE 250 PageGroup.
It showed nearly half of those thinking about switching to a green job (47 percent) are considering work in the renewable energy sector.
And many also see sustainable investment and sustainable construction as viable options.
Half of the employed adults considering the switch (49 percent) wanted a role that positively impacted the planet, while 36 percent wanted to future-proof their careers.
To ensure their skills are compatible with future green jobs, 28 percent plan to undergo training related to their current specialism, with 26 percent exploring online courses to achieve the necessary qualifications.
Joanna Bonnett, head of sustainability at PageGroup, said: “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 policy makers, 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.”
More than half (55 percent) of the decision-makers polled say it is important that new staff demonstrate their consciousness about climate change.
And 31 percent claim it is a priority to invest in staff to prepare them for the green future.
It was also reported that 43 percent of businesses remain committed to working toward their sustainability goals, despite rising costs of living.
These businesses have committed to reaching an average of five targets, with 40 percent citing long-term cost savings benefits as the driving force behind implementing these goals.
And a third (33 percent) see it as an opportunity to future-proof their business.
The poll of workers, conducted by OnePoll.com, showed 34 percent of workers claim witnessing the negative impacts to the environment as their primary reason for considering green work.
One in three (33 percent) had been motivated after watching documentaries about climate change, and 32 percent were aware that the job market is changing and want to adapt to the times.
Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) started exploring these green opportunities in just the last two years.
Joanna Bonnett, from PageGroup, added: “With one in five companies currently recruiting for green positions, it is clear they recognise the significance of the green transition, and importantly, the benefits it brings to their business and workforce.”
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