Green jobs for a greener future on World Environment Day

Today, World Environment Day (5th June 2024), a critical challenge stands in the way of achieving the UK’s ambitious environmental goals – the green skills gap.

This shortage of skilled professionals among the younger generations across sectors like renewable energy, waste management, water, contamination and sustainable construction, is a significant barrier to further progress.

The organisers of Environmental Services & Solutions Expo (ESS) hopes to raise awareness of this very issue. Industries represented at the event, from carbon capture to water treatment and air quality monitoring, all face the challenge of attracting and hiring qualified personnel.

Without a skilled workforce powered by the particularly environmentally minded younger generation, our ability to deliver on sustainability commitments will be severely hampered in the next 10 to 20 years.

The solution lies in robust education and training programmes. Collaboration between industry, government and educational programmes is essential to develop clear pathways for individuals, to acquire the necessary green skills and transition into these vital careers for our environment.

‘Good progress’

There has been good progress made and the conversation is growing across all environmental sectors. The sector now has the means to deliver wider and more effective training schemes and bridge the gap, but it must be urgently prioritised by businesses, policymakers and educational bodies too.

The industry can no longer afford to see attracting the next generation as a ‘future consideration’, and must collectively act now. By working together to serve the environment and create jobs, the sector can ensure a sustainable and resilient future for our planet.

Recently, ESS hosted the ESS 2040: Green Skills Webinar with senior panellists from the likes of the department for energy security and net zero, CIEEM, department for education, Veolia, alongside a leading charity in the space, Groundwork. With 500 attendees joining live, the productive session touched on progress made, barriers faced, and increasing the attractiveness of the sector to young professionals.

The session also featured a case study from the engineering sector delivered collaboratively between Siemens and Manchester Metropolitan University, presenting how they have aligned university courses to deliver the critical skills that the industries need.

Future Talent Hub

To continue the conversation, the Future Talent Hub will offer educational sessions, career guidance and networking opportunities at ESS Expo, taking place from 11-12 September at the NEC, Birmingham.

This dedicated zone will provide a place to connect the next generation with established industry leaders who will offer practical guidance to raise the profile of the vast and exciting world of green-centric careers.

ESS Expo 2024 wants to change the narrative and close the job skills gap to ensure the industry continues its trajectory towards a more sustainable environment. Register to attend today on the ESS Expo website, here.

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