Green Skills Workshop

Green Skills Workshop

Green Skills Workshop reflections: Nurturing Talent and Fostering Change

Jane Rexworthy Chair of the UK Skills Partnership and Exec Director People 1st International.

This week I had the privilege of attending the UK-EU Green Skills Workshop in Brussels on February 29th, 2024, organised by the UK Mission in the European Union and the UK Skills Partnership.

This significant event brought together experts in green energy, education, and industry to delve into the critical theme of “Green Skills.” The workshop aimed to address challenges, share insights, and explore opportunities in preparing the workforce for the demands of a sustainable future.

The Green Skills Workshop kicked off with an enlightening keynote speech by Dr. El Iza Mohamedou, Head of the OECD Centre for Skills. The subsequent workshops revolved around two key topics:

  1. Designing Skills Programmes for the Green Economy: Experts discussed the importance of tailoring skills programs to meet the specific needs of the evolving green economy. The focus was on developing initiatives that align with industry requirements and foster a skilled workforce ready to tackle environmental challenges.
  2. Increasing Participation in Green Jobs Skills Programs: Delving into the issue of attracting talent to green occupations, this session explored strategies to boost engagement and participation in skills programmes. It aimed to address the challenges of navigating a complex landscape of qualifications and promoting the appeal of green careers.

The closing plenary session featured facilitators sharing challenges and opportunities for change discussed in their respective sessions, with closing remarks delivered by UK Minister Solloway from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.

Green Skills Workshop

Key Takeaways:

  1. War on Talent: Businesses are keen on retaining and nurturing their workforce to build robust talent pipelines.
  2. Navigating Qualification Complexity: The complexity of qualifications poses challenges for individuals in understanding and choosing green career paths.
  3. Redefining Green Skills Terminology: Questions arose about whether the terminology surrounding green skills needs redefinition for clearer understanding.
  4. Tools for Future Job Prediction: Exploring available tools to identify and predict future job trends in the green economy.
  5. Diversity and Recruitment: Changing the perception of male-dominated occupations through improved recruitment processes and language that encourages diversity.
  6. Values-Driven Workforce: Young individuals are more likely to leave roles if their employers don’t align with environmentally conscious values.

Opportunities Identified:

  1. Inclusive Employer Training: Upskilling employers on fostering inclusivity within their organisations.
  2. Community Communication: Communicating occupational opportunities to parents, teachers, and communities where green occupations are not traditionally considered.
  3. Collaboration Between Industry and Education: Establishing a collaborative relationship where industry and education support employees and the future workforce reciprocally.
  4. Career Progression Understanding: Ensuring clear communication of career progression paths in growing green industries.
  5. Reskilling Initiatives: Providing access for existing and older workers to upskill and retrain through modular learning and bootcamps.
  6. Teacher Tech-Savvy Training: Training teachers to be technologically adept to effectively educate the future workforce.
  7. Diverse Network of Champions: Creating a diverse and inclusive network of champions and role models in green industries.
  8. Micro-Credentials Recognition: Recognising skills with micro-credentials, potentially building a license-to-practice skills passport.

The workshop emphasised the need for collaborative efforts between various stakeholders to overcome challenges and seize opportunities in nurturing a skilled and diverse workforce for a sustainable future. The call to action involves a collective commitment to redefine, retrain, and reimagine the green skills landscape for the benefit of individuals, businesses, and the environment.

The workshop addressed the challenges of navigating the complexity of qualifications in green career paths by fostering discussions on tailoring skills and training programmes to meet the specific needs of the evolving green economy.

To promote diversity in the green sector, participant experts highlighted the need to change the perception of male-dominated occupations. A number ideas, strategies and initiatives were discussed during the workshop that encourage inclusivity in recruitment processes and create a more diverse workforce in green industries. But there is always more to be done.

The workshop covered micro-credential recognition and the creation of a license-to-practice skills passport type schemes within green sub-sectors. Delegates shared detailed information on how these kind of initiatives are implemented and set out the overarching contribution these make to the goal of nurturing a skilled and diverse workforce for a sustainable future.

Many thanks indeed to all of the team at the UK Mission to the European Union for developing and co-hosting such an insightful workshop. Many thanks to every organisation and representative who participated in this work workshop, especially OECD as the plenary speaker. It was an amazing day and I look forward to supporting UK and EU organisations in creating more collaborative partnerships. We hope this inspires you to want to collaborate with UK and EU organisations – contact us to get things moving!

I just wanted to drop you a note to express my gratitude for giving me the opportunity to attend yesterdays event.

I met lots of fantastic people and have started discussions which I’m sure will lead to partnerships and success for the business. This event co-hosted with the UK Mission in EU team was fantastic and was the best event I’ve been to in a number of years. Thanks to the passionate discussions it provoked. I definitely felt like I was in the right room.

I can’t thank you enough for the opportunity and look forward future events.”

Gary Carney, Co-Founder, The Sustainability Academy.

The Sustainability Academy

Green Skills further reading:

Here are the graphic visualisation summaries from the discussions that took place: