New research will address net zero skills challenge


Actuate UK is working with Energy Systems Catapult (ESC) on a strategy to boost the creation of a skilled workforce that will play a central role in reducing carbon emissions from the built environment.

The new strategic research project, funded by the Engineering Services Training Trust Ltd (ESTTL), will tackle the skills shortages in key engineering professions that could threaten to derail the UK’s plans for decarbonising buildings. Plus, it will seek to quantify the benefits to business from having well-trained, competent people, and the business case for companies to be involved in skills development.

The Energy Systems Catapult Capabilities Director, Richard Halsey, said: “We’re embarking on an in-depth study of the built environment sector, aiming to take a once in a generation opportunity to produce ‘a robust strategy’ to transform the culture to encourage upskilling and unleash innovation.

“Net zero buildings need to work for the people who use them…that won’t happen unless the workforce knows how to plan, design and deliver to meet those needs and can do so to the pace and scale needed to meet the challenge of climate change.”

Helen Yeulet, Director of Training and Skills of Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), who also leads the Actuate UK Skills Group, will be working with ESC and industry stakeholders on this project. “The net zero agenda is already presenting a range of new challenges to our members and those of our partners in Actuate UK.

“To remain at the heart of the net zero discussion we must ensure we have a suitably trained workforce with a range of new skills to go with the technical and process innovations our sector has already developed.

“Employers will need to recruit from a much wider demographic than we do currently – to meet our responsibilities and take advantage of the huge business opportunities. Our work with the ESC will help to clarify what strategies and innovations we need to make progress.