Not-for-profit EngineeringUK is warning that lack of Government planning and resources in the STEM educational pipeline is putting de-carbonisation at risk.
“It’s clear that we could be sleep-walking towards a net zero engineering skills shortage without knowing how big the skills and educational gaps are and where they are,” said EngineeringUK head of environmental sustainability Mike Hardisty. “We need to change that to ensure that the right policies are in place to address this. The Unit for Future Skills would appear to be a good starting point to act as a hub to guide government on workforce issues like a producing a regular national labour forecast.”
“There are issues within our education system,” he added. “For example, we need more young people to take STEM subjects at school and in further education, but we are lacking the teachers and the infrastructure to make this happen.”
Hardisty’s words are based analysis of 27 research reports from across the engineering sector into the green jobs and engineering skills needed to decarbonise all sectors of the UK economy by EngineeringUK – now published as the report ‘Net zero workforce’, which is free to download.
It reveals neither a consistent understanding of the future demand for engineering and technical skills needed at a national level to meet net zero targets by 2050, nor of the implications for those coming through STEM secondary and tertiary education, according to the organisation. It recommends that if government is to deliver on its carbon reduction targets it needs to get better at understanding the number of future green jobs and skills of people working in the sectors crucial to achieving the UK’s net zero commitments.
EngineeringUK’s aim is to works with the engineering community to inspire tomorrow’s engineers. For example, it leads The Big Bang, Robotics Challenge and Energy Quest engagement programmes, intended to help schools bring STEM education to to life.