More than two-thirds (68 percent) of business leaders believe the country is heading towards a green skills shortage.
A survey of 500 business decision makers found that 57% believe these specialist skills are important to their business – yet many are struggling to find qualified staff, particularly in the areas of sustainable engineering and sustainable finance.
To fill this gap, more than one in four (27 percent) are actively identifying opportunities and anticipating future business needs.
With 26 percent investing in professional training to enhance and prepare their existing workforce.
Another 23% are offering more training and learning on the job.
But workers are also identifying this gap in the job market – a separate survey of 2,000 employed adults found that a quarter (27%) are eyeing a green job as their next career step, but many are unsure whether they have the necessary skills.
The survey commissioned by global recruiting experts Michael Pagepart of the FTSE 250 PageGroup, showed that nearly half of those thinking about moving into a green job (47 percent) are considering working in the renewable energy sector.
With many also seeing sustainable investment and sustainable construction as viable options.
Half of employed adults considering the move (49%) wanted a role that would positively impact the planet, while 36% wanted to future-proof their careers.
To ensure their skills are compatible with future green jobs, 28% plan to take training related to their current specialty, with 26% exploring online courses to gain the necessary qualifications.
Joanna Bonnett, Head of Sustainability at PageGroupsaid: “We are not surprised to learn that so many workers see green industries as a critical career move.
“While this is great news, nearly half of people considering a green job don’t believe they have the right skills to do so.
“To ensure the UK is successful in its green transition efforts, it is crucial that policy-makers, business and education organizations collaborate and invest in the proper preparation of the workforce.
“Doing so will create a pipeline of talent that is ready for the jobs of the future and address green skills shortages, which, if not addressed, could dramatically slow net-zero efforts.”
More than half (55 percent) of decision makers say it is important for new employees to demonstrate their awareness of climate change.
With 31 percent saying it was a priority to invest in people to prepare them for the green future.
It was also reported that 43% of companies remain committed to working towards their sustainability goals despite the rising cost of living.
These companies committed to achieving an average of five targets, with 40% citing long-term cost savings benefits as the driving force behind implementing these targets.
While a third (33 percent) see this as an opportunity to future-proof their business.
The worker survey, conducted by OnePoll.com, showed that 34 percent of workers claim witnessing negative impacts on the environment as their top reason for considering working green.
One in three (33 percent) were motivated after watching documentaries on 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) have begun to explore these green opportunities in just the past two years.
Joanna Bonnett of PageGroup concluded, “With one in five companies currently recruiting for green positions, it’s clear that they recognize the importance of the green transition and, more importantly, the benefits it brings to their business and workforce.”
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