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ICE-backed lobby group seeks government green skills strategy

The government must ensure that all major environmental policies contain a corresponding skills strategy if the UK workforce is to deliver the skills for a low carbon economy, according to a new report published by the Aldersgate Group.

The Aldersgate Group is a high level coalition championing smarter environmental regulation that leads to healthy economic growth and jobs.

The ICE is a member of the group and a key contributor to its new Mind the Gap report, which sets out policy recommendations for a more urgent and wide ranging approach to addressing the skills gap.

The new report stresses that environmental policies such as increased subsidies for offshore wind in the 2009 budget or the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) energy efficiency scheme must be accompanied by an appropriate skills strategy, it also makes other key recommendations to the government. These include:

  • Provide investment for training to transform existing skills rather than create new skills
  • Reform the communications strategy to better define what is meant by a “green job” and engage more actively with the UK workforce to discuss about the implications of a shift to a low carbon economy
  • Drive demand for environmental skills by providing advice and support for in-house training and initial funding programmes to help alter long term business practice.

ICE director general Tom Foulkes said: “Addressing the skills gap in the UK is essential if we are to make the transition to a low carbon society and maximise the benefits of the move. Civil engineering encompasses such a vast array of skills that are crucial to this debate and the ICE is keen to play an active role.

“The Aldersgate Group brought together a number of experts in producing this new report and we feel it sets out workable and effective policy recommendations that match the ambition of the Low Carbon Industrial Strategy.”

The key policy recommendations have been presented to the government, shadow ministers, key decision makers and MPs.

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