‘Lack of green skills’ is hampering climate goals says London Councils

The green economy holds huge potential but skills shortages are hampering London’s ability to reach climate goals, according to a new report by London Councils. 

The Green Skills report, which mapped London government skills activity to help cut carbon emissions and achieve net zero, has found Boroughs are being held back due to resource and capacity restraints.

A lack of long-term funding to invest in the green economy is a major challenge, as well as the need for more joined-up working and a long-term strategy for building London’s green economy.

According to the 2021 Green Jobs and Skills in London report, the number of green jobs is expected to almost quadruple to over a million jobs by 2050. Fulfilling this demand means ensuring that there are enough Londoners with the skills needed to support the transition. 

The report recommends developing a Net Zero skills strategy and action plan over the next five years for London. It also suggests joint lobbying between London Councils and the Greater London Authority (GLA) to ask government to set out a clear policy plan to increase green skills, while also providing further devolution to local government to stimulate the green economy from the ground up.

London boroughs are committed to achieving net zero and doubling the size of the green economy by 2030 hrough the Building the Green Economy Programme, “but the lack of investment in green skills is putting the brakes on these plans,” explained Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz, London Councils’ Executive Member for Skills androkhsana-profile-570x570 Employment. 

“The Green Skills report shows why we need a real focus and long term funding for green skills. We also need clear strategic direction from national government so the whole country is pulling together on developing the green economy, as well as greater devolution to councils so we have the powers and autonomy to get things done.”

She continued: “Green skills are crucial to achieving net zero in the coming decades and we need to invest now if we are to create the skilled workers and thriving green industries we need for the future.”

A joint effort

London government has an important role to play in delivering green skills but does not have all the levers for this, but central government needs to play its part too. 

The Greater London Authority (GLA) has identified green as one of its five priority sectors for skills and oversees the following programmes: Skills Bootcamps, Skills Academies and the AEB Jobs and Skills for Londoners Programmes. 

However, key parts of the green skills system such as apprenticeships, 16-18 vocational provision, higher education and FE capital funding are controlled by central government. 

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