The Future Energy Skills Programme brings together business, trade union and academic leaders to help the UK succeed in meeting the twin challenges of the transition to a low carbon future and the urgent need for greater energy resilience. We will do so by focussing on the opportunities to create the skilled workforce and corporate leadership that ensures Britain is a global leader.
The transition to a net-zero economy will impact all our lives over the coming years as the UK seeks to tackle climate change, achieve a just transition away from a fossil fuel economy, and become more resource efficient. There are huge opportunities in these changes for employers and employees, and we need to ensure British workers and businesses are well-placed to make the most of these opportunities.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will have a long-term impact on the UK’s efforts to address climate change and reach net zero. The conflict has also raised significant questions over the UK’s energy security and added fresh impetus to securing our energy independence.
In this context, the Future Energy Skills Programme has been created to examine how the UK energy sector can lead this impetus for change and build upon the work of The Green Jobs Taskforce. This Programme will consider how we unlock the skills needed for a green economy by focusing on two key policy themes. First, it will examine the policy steps that can be taken to ensure we create careers for the future as the UK accelerates plans for energy independence in a more geopolitically challenging environment. Secondly, it will explore how we can ensure there is a just transition for the UK’s existing high carbon workforce as part of our pursuit of net zero. In both policy areas we will explore how the UK can gain and sustain competitive advantage internationally.
The Programme is focused on the future, so rather than examining the nature of existing work in green sectors, it will make policy recommendations for ensuring the maximum growth of highly skilled jobs across the whole of the UK over the next ten years.
The Programme will specifically focus on the potential for these jobs in the energy sector with a focus on energy efficiency in homes, greener workplaces and low carbon energy generation, storage, transmission, and distribution. The Programme will look at how we create domestic and international competitive advantage from home energy efficiency, tidal stream, hydrogen, electric vehicles, and clean heavy industry and how the existing oil and gas infrastructure can be repurposed for the future.
The Programme will also consider the direct adjacent manufacturing that will support the energy sector. This will focus on how we ensure that the high skilled jobs manufacturing the infrastructure for a more energy independent, low carbon nation are based in the UK, allowing this to become a major export revenue stream.