A green-skills disconnect: employers and their future workforce 

Will AkermanCeo, Connectr


26th April 2023

Read time

3 minutes

Attractive young diverse woman hr manager talking and introduction company to job seeker.

Never before has a single agenda cut through every sector to the extent that green skills will do in the next 3-years, say Nesta, who for the last 2-years have had a dedicated team of researchers and data analysts. A bygone misconception was that ‘green’ is about energy and construction sector jobs alone. That myth seems largely dispelled. The requirement for green skills, into a conveyor-belt of brand-new jobs will challenge every HR team in every large employer. 

The size of the opportunity, challenge and cost is mountainous. Headline grabbing global statistics are big and equally hard to visualise; Joe Bidens US Inflation Reduction Act and $369 Billion green tax package will force other nations to follow. Legislation dates are looming, Governments are beginning to turn rhetoric to action – we’re getting to the sharp-end of what’s been newsworthy for much of our lives.  

And for employers too, it’s action time. Most companies spent 2022 hiring their ‘Global Head of Sustainability and ESG’, now in post. Many agreed which consultants and agencies will support Communications.  

These are the easy steps. Now for the green workforce transformation.  

And falling through the gaps is the future workforce to fill the hundreds of thousands of new roles coming on-line in the next three to five years. Those young people, currently in education, will power the green economy, employers success, and the UK economy.  

Who is going to provide the insights? Who will write the course curriculum? Who will pathway young people into green careers? 

On the subject of schools, teachers and students, Paul Lewis, Chief of Strategy at The Careers & Enterprise Company, notes; “Young people require vital, real-life touchpoints with business to gain awareness, inspiration and crucially the support to pursue a pathway into green jobs and industries.”” 

Ensuring that our workforce of tomorrow is ready to join individual employers requires concerted and consistent action today, in 2023. 

Many HR, early-talent, and ESG leaders haven’t yet had the opportunity to position themselves as a green-employer of choice. Whilst those young people, currently in education, will soon make decisions about which employers they join for their green-career. Nesta research shows 77% of young people currently in education would prefer a job in sustainability. 

With so many critical stakeholders, and a pace of change that’s beginning to bite, perhaps it’s not surprising to see the current silos, lack of coordination and lack of action. 

The need to bring stakeholders together, sharing information, research, strategies, and opportunities is real, for Employers, Governments and young people. 

Connectr launched the ‘Green Skills Workforce Coalition’ on the 22.04.23, coinciding with World Earth Day, and with the launch event in London on Thursday 1st June – come and join us!

Sign up for the event here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/green-skills-the-biggest-skills-shortage-is-about-to-hit-you-tickets-621661866377  

Will AkermanCeo, Connectr