City of London report calls for green skills training

Predictions of a surge in labor demand within the capital are partly behind calls for more training programmes. 

A new report released by the City of London Corporation has urged investment in skilling and preparing tomorrow’s green workforce. 

Driven by the need to decarbonise the UK capital’s commercial buildings, it identifies a rapidly escalating shortfall in professionals trained in retrofitting and sustainable building management. Not counting construction roles, there is currently an annual demand for 35,000 professionals in the built environment sector alone. 

According to the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), there could be a need for a 250,000-strong green workforce to support development in the city by 2027. As a result of these numbers, more than 300 organisations – including designers, construction firms, and education providers – have joined the Skills for Sustainable Skyline Taskforce, to try the develop policies that can help plug the gap. 

The report itself makes several recommendations, including reforming the Apprenticeship Levy and s106 policies, which are perceived as obstacles to intake and recruitment. Many in the industry consider them ‘inflexible’ and ‘inconsistent’. In addition, a number of other points are made to Government: 

*New entry-level sustainability training, apprenticeships, and upskilling courses are needed, especially for emerging roles 

*Collaborative approach between government, providers, and industry would help set more ambitious strategies 

*Investment in candidate diversity for a wider range of sustainable roles is required 

*An easily accessible platform for collecting and sharing data relating to pipeline projects and skills shortages will help industry prepare for the future 

*Environmental Social Governance (ESG) strategies should be developed by built environment organisations to support sustainability operations, retrofit and skills training 

*Sector’s role in tackling climate change, and its range of careers, should be better promoted to encourage applicants

‘I would like to personally invite industry representatives to join the Skills for a Sustainable Skyline Taskforce, read the new report and to follow the six recommendations to help us build a more sustainable built environment workforce and reshape the sector,’ said Shravan Joshi, Chairman of the City of London Corporation Planning and Transport Committee. 

‘The built environment is critical in supporting central London’s transition to a more sustainable economy. Buildings have substantial carbon footprints, so reducing emissions in the sector will be pivotal for addressing climate change,’ he continued. ‘Ensuring technical education, such as through apprenticeships, offers a range of flexible training routes towards new jobs, which will be essential to delivering on sustainability ambitions.’

More on green jobs and skills: 

How Essex County Council fuelled economic growth with energy retrofits

Labour’s Green Prosperity Plan fails to fuel real optimism

Is the UK facing a renewable energy crisis?

Ashden Awards for climate solutions reveals 2023 shortlist

Image: Shivendu Shukla



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