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Research shows new skills needed to help UK meet EU 2020 targets

Research calls for new skills and training for the built environment workforce to help the UK meet its European energy efficiency targets by 2020.

The Build Up Skills ‘Analysis of the National Status Quo’ report says more consistency in energy efficiency policy between the different UK nations is needed. It also calls for better awareness among industry and consumers.

The study was carried out for the Build Up Skills UK project, an alliance of four sector skills councils (SSCs): Asset Skills, SummitSkills, CITB-ConstructionSkills and Energy & Utility Skills.

Keith Marshall OBE, Chief Executive of SummitSkills, said: “To a certain extent these are encouraging findings: increasing awareness of environmental technologies and training providers primed to step up and supply the required training. It’s already obvious that what’s needed now is a strong drive forward, a clear direction and incentives for employers to take action.

“Our next steps will be to get out and about to talk about this research, seek out the views of businesses and training providers on how to address the issues it raises and put together a plan of action – a skills roadmap.”

Sarah Bentley, Chief Executive of Asset Skills, said: “There is a clear lack of knowledge and confidence among employers about the green agenda and how it will affect their workforce. Industry and consumers need to be made more aware, while new specialist training needs to be developed in different areas of energy efficiency.”

Rob Moore, Operations Manager Low Carbon, at Energy & Utility Skills, said: “We are delighted to be part of this research, which clearly demonstrates the Government’s commitment towards green policies and gives us a clear picture of where we are now. Through the collaborative work of the sectors involved in the Build Up Skills project and this report, we will develop a coherent plan to bring us closer to the ambitious targets the UK has committed to.”

Through the Build Up Skills project, the four SSCs are undertaking a programme of research and other work to ensure that the built environment workforce has the skills necessary for the UK to meet its 2020 carbon emission reduction targets. Industry bodies, employers, training providers and other stakeholders have been interviewed for the study, which was also informed by other relevant published information.

The built environment accounts for nearly 47 per cent of CO2 emissions. Today’s research calls for long term government commitment to energy policy, and funding for energy efficiency training to help raise knowledge and skills among the blue collar workforce such as plumbers, electricians and construction workers.

For more information, visit www.buildupskillsuk.org or contact Lucy Radford by emailing lradford@buildupskillsuk.org or call 08448 549 004.

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