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Unlocking the Skills Needed for a Digital and Green Future published by Make UK, in association with Sage, revealed that the overwhelming majority (98%) of manufacturers are aware of the Government’s Net Zero target and 92% say this is achievable in their business by 2050 if the right help is in place.

However, a third of companies surveyed are experiencing a skills gap. Innovation is at the top of the list in terms of the skillset companies feel is needed to achieve the green targets, with 72% of companies saying a boost to innovation skills is critical to success.

The average skill level of a Net Zero job is 26% higher than the current occupations across industry in the UK, so the quality of the training needs to be higher. Acquisition of in-depth skills would enable companies to accelerate the deployment of clean technologies, increase productivity and increase resource efficiency.

Government needs to prioritise educational resources to make sure there is an increased provision of training at the higher skill levels of degree standard or above level 5 to make sure industry has the skills they need to take advantage of all the opportunities in the digital and green economy. They should look to implement a green skills tax credit to encourage manufacturers to train their employees in the latest green skills and introduce a Help to Grow Green programme for managers and leaders to train them in the latest sustainable manufacturing processes and procedures.
Stephen Phipson CBE Chief Executive, Make UK
Digital technologies play a crucial role in helping businesses meet their sustainability ambitions, removing some of the barriers to taking climate action. Businesses’ ability to harness the right skills will be vital, as well as measures to incentivise businesses to invest in people and carbon reductions.  This is especially important given that SMEs are already facing major challenges in attracting the talent they need. The recommendations in this report are essential steps to take if this sector is to progress its green agenda at pace.
Paul Struthers MD, UK and Ireland, Sage

Available resources

Make UK / Skills / Industry report