The Sector Skills Council for the places where we live and work
Research calls for new skills and training for the built environment workforce to help the UK meet its European energy efficiency targets by 2020.
The Build Up Skills 'Analysis of the National Status Quo' report says more consistency in energy efficiency policy between the different UK nations is needed. It also calls for better awareness among industry and consumers.
The study was carried out for the Build Up Skills UK project, an alliance of four sector skills councils (SSCs): Asset Skills, SummitSkills, CITB-ConstructionSkills and Energy & Utility Skills.
Sarah Bentley, Chief Executive of Asset Skills, said: "There is a clear lack of knowledge and confidence among employers about the green agenda and how it will affect their workforce. Industry and consumers need to be made more aware, while new specialist training needs to be developed in different areas of energy efficiency."
Keith Marshall OBE, Chief Executive of SummitSkills, said: "To a certain extent these are encouraging findings: increasing awareness of environmental technologies and training providers primed to step up and supply the required training. It's already obvious that what's needed now is a strong drive forward, a clear direction and incentives for employers to take action.
"Our next steps will be to get out and about to talk about this research, seek out the views of businesses and training providers on how to address the issues it raises and put together a plan of action - a skills roadmap."
Mark Farrar, Chief Executive of CITB-ConstructionSkills, said: "As the UK makes the transition towards becoming a low carbon economy, the need to invest in skills for the built environment sector becomes more and more pressing.
"This research has highlighted that in the construction sector alone, more than 161,000 skilled workers will be needed to enable to the UK to hit its 2020 carbon reduction targets. Through measures such as our 'Cut the Carbon' in construction campaign, we are committed to working with industry, the Government and our SSC partners to put in place the skilled workforce that will be needed to drive the UK towards its low carbon future."
Rob Moore, Operations Manager Low Carbon, at Energy & Utility Skills, said: "We are delighted to be part of this research, which clearly demonstrates the Government's commitment towards green policies and gives us a clear picture of where we are now. Through the collaborative work of the sectors involved in the Build Up Skills project and this report, we will develop a coherent plan to bring us closer to the ambitious targets the UK has committed to."
Through the Build Up Skills project, the four SSCs are undertaking a programme of research and other work to ensure that the built environment workforce has the skills necessary for the UK to meet its 2020 carbon emission reduction targets. Industry bodies, employers, training providers and other stakeholders have been interviewed for the study, which was also informed by other relevant published information.
The built environment accounts for nearly 47% of CO2 emissions. The research calls for long term government commitment to energy policy, and funding for energy efficiency training to help raise knowledge and skills among the blue collar workforce such as plumbers, electricians and construction workers.
The full report is available here www.buildupskillsuk.org/status-quo or for more information on the Build Up Skills UK project contact Lucy Radford by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 08448 549 004.
About Build Up Skills
The Build Up Skills research is funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe programme and supported by all the UK governments. Its findings will be used to inform the development of a 2020 Skills Roadmap. The study presents an analysis of the national status quo in the UK blue collar built environment workforce, a comprehensive review of existing skills training and qualifications provision and anticipated skills needs.
The core initiative of Build Up Skills focuses on a specific target group - onsite workers, craftsmen and installers of the built environment sector. While the European Commission recognises the strategic importance of other occupations such as energy assessors and advisors, and professional roles such as architects, these roles have been deemed to be out of scope for this current study because the European Commission considers there is an urgent need for qualified workers at an operational level who have the capability to handle the entire range of issues surrounding the installation and maintenance of energy efficiency and renewable energy systems in buildings of all types and ages.
The European targets call for a 20% cut in emissions of greenhouse gases by 2020, compared with 1990 levels; a 20% increase in the share of renewables in the energy mix; and a 20% cut in energy consumption.