Blog: Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan and the journey to Net Zero – David Coyne, Skills Development Scotland
Reaching Scotland’s ambition of becoming a net zero carbon emitter by 2045 requires transformational change.
More skilled people will be needed across a range of jobs to cut our carbon footprint and create new, environmentally friendly solutions.
There is a need to adapt to the changing demand for skills, not just in sectors with a critical contribution to make to net zero such as energy transition or construction, but across the whole country.
This requires both a skills system and a labour market which are more agile, proactive, responsive and resilient than ever before.
The Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan has already identified a series of priority areas for employers, education and individuals and is a leading example of planning for sustainable skills against change targets.
Co-ordinated by Skills Development Scotland and launched in December 2020, it complements the updated Climate Change Plan published from Scottish Government which commits Scotland to a green recovery from COVID-19.
Delivered in partnership between public, private and the third sector, the action plan is industry and evidence led.
A year on, a whole raft of projects are underway, from training for the next generation of renewable professionals and putting climate change resources into schools to harnessing apprentice talent to solve low carbon industry challenges.
The first year of the action plan also saw the launch of the Green Jobs Workforce Academy and further support for businesses including bespoke climate emergency training and development of a net zero toolkit to supporting engineering SMEs.
The National Transition Training Fund is already providing support to people to up skill and reskill into emerging green jobs, while work continues to ensure collective regional responses to labour market challenges and opportunities resulting from COVID-19.
Robust data is a key priority. Work is ongoing to establish green Jobs and Skills Hub that will cascade intelligence into the skill system on the numbers and types of green jobs that will be needed over the next 25 years.
During COP26, The Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board made recommendations that include developing climate change skills for every Scottish apprentice in training across the country- currently around 47,000 people.
Ensuring our skills system works for the whole of Scotland requires engagement with the whole of Scotland, from businesses and industry, through government and public bodies, to education providers and communities, all of us are key stakeholders in this climate skills plan and all of us must now ensure it is put into action.
The move to net zero by 2045 has the potential to create tens of thousands of well-paid, highly skilled jobs over the next 20 years.
The action plan is making sure we seize those sustainable skills opportunities for everyone learning and working here in Scotland.
Throughout discussions and events at COP26 at the end of last year, it was clear that Scotland is well-placed to take advantage, in particularly, of the green energy boom that is starting across the globe. But as we move forward, every job needs to become more sustainable.
Our skills system is well equipped to deal with the rapid adjustment to face the challenge of net zero and we will continue to work together to drive change as we take the plan froward.