Majority of Business Leaders Fear UK Green Skills Shortage

A new survey commissioned by global recruitment firm Michael Page, part of FTSE 250 PageGroup, has revealed that more than one in four decision makers are actively identifying opportunities and anticipating future business needs in response to a shortage of skilled staff in areas of sustainable engineering and finance. 26% of these decision makers are investing in professional training to upskill their existing workforce, while another 23% are offering more on-the-job training and apprenticeships.

A separate poll of 2,000 employed adults revealed that 27% of them are eyeing up a green job as their next career move, but many are uncertain if they have the necessary skills. Among those considering a switch to a green job, 47% are interested in work in the renewable energy sector, while others see sustainable investment and construction as viable options. Half of the employed adults considering the switch (49%) want a role that positively impacts the planet, while 36% want to future-proof their careers.

To ensure that their skills are compatible with future green jobs, 28% of workers plan to undergo training related to their current specialism, while 26% are exploring online courses to achieve the necessary qualifications. Joanna Bonnett, head of sustainability at PageGroup, stressed the importance of preparing the workforce for the UK’s green transition efforts and creating a pipeline of talent that is ready for the jobs of the future.

More than half (55%) of the decision makers surveyed say it is important that new staff demonstrate their consciousness about climate change, with 31% claiming that it is a priority to invest in staff to prepare them for the green future. It was also reported that 43% of businesses remain committed to working towards their sustainability goals despite the rising cost of living. These businesses have committed to reaching an average of five targets, with 40% citing long-term cost savings benefits as the driving force behind implementing these goals, while a third (33%) see it as an opportunity to future-proof their business.

The poll of workers conducted by showed that 34% of workers claim witnessing the negative impacts to the environment as their primary reason for considering green work. One in three (33%) had been motivated after watching documentaries about climate change, and 32% were aware that the job market is changing and want to adapt to the times. Nearly three-quarters (73%) started exploring these green opportunities in just the last two years. Bonnett added that with one in five companies currently recruiting for green positions, it is clear that they recognize the significance of the green transition and the benefits it brings to their business and workforce.