Green Skills Reports Roundup, Apr-22
Our selection of reports and other publications from this month’s reading list.
North Sea Transition Deal. One Year On.
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Offshore Energies UK, March 2022
A brief update document covering the details of the transition of “traditional energy” workers to carbon capture and storage, hydrogen, and wider electrification (renewables) in 2030 and 2035, and maintaining the balance with retaining skilled workers in the oil and gas sector. It is a great example of where a workforce is being seen as a national asset and is being managed as such. The whole approach seeks to deliver a joined-up approach to skills and seeks to provide a supply of skills to underpin the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, the Energy Skills Alliance, and through the forthcoming integrated People and Skills Plan to make rapid progress towards the transferability of the workforce to ensure that a flexible offshore energy workforce is developed. Here we are seeing the challenge of maintaining the supply of carbon-based energy whilst ensuring the transition to a non-carbon energy future, and taking the skills legacy from one and building in the future skills requirements. This is certainly one to watch and learn from over the coming years.
Greening Construction: A complex challenge for jobs, skills, and training
Edge Foundation with SKOPE and ECI Oxford University, March 2022
This is useful report as it brings together some of the latest materials on net zero and construction. It explores the dynamic relationship between the emerging skills demands needed to meet net zero carbon targets and the structures of, and pathways through, the skills formation system that must supply these skills at both the initial point of training and through continuous professional development. A big challenge indeed. One output from the work is the conceptualisation of the construction skills for net zero as dividing into a four element framework: technical skills (covering emerging technologies, sustainable practices, and building regulations); employability skills (those required for engaging in complex, fragmented, contexts dominated by sub-contracting, particularly: communication, digital skills, creativity, professional integrity, general business and administrative skills), sustainability-oriented dispositions (including knowledge and understanding of broad issues related to climate change, building performance and the overarching goals of sustainable practice – a sustainability-oriented mindset); and, continuous professional development-oriented disposition (focused on flexibility and adaptability to deal with future uncertainties and a likely period of changes in practices, requiring continued professional development beyond the point of initial training – an education and training-oriented approach).
Where we have found real value in this report is combining it with the recent work of the Construction ITB, Building Skills for Net-Zero, which maps out the skills and training actions over 2011-2050. The initial decade is covered at the annual level which highlights a series of action areas (25 in all) and of these, 14 were identified as being “critically constrained requiring major effort and investment” (figure 5.1 Skills and training actions, Page 90). Then more recently, the Climate Change Committee, produced an Independent Assessment: The UK’s Heat and Buildings Strategy, build on the Construction ITB work, and plot out the additional full-time staff equivalents by occupation (10 in all) required to for the rapid roll-out of heat pumps, heat networks and energy efficiency retrofits (Figure 4.2, Page 65). Along with the professional bodies for architecture (RIBA, Sustainable Outcomes Guide, 2019), chartered surveyors (RICS, Sustainability Report, 2021), and the BEIS (Heat Network Skills Review, 2020, Appendix D: Occupation skills mapping, Pages 105-116), we start to come to reasonably comprehensive view of the skills we need to delivery net zero buildings across the UK, and giving full recognition to the value of systems approach from the scoping and design through to implementation.
All of these materials provide a significant input into the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) and its Green Apprenticeships Advisory Panel (GAAP) which together oversees the development of new standards and guides the investment of the Apprenticeship Levy. We hope both IfATE and the GAAP take them on board and adapt current, and develop new standards. We will follow this area of skills development as it so important to decarbonising the UK economy and society.
Green Six Sigma. A Lean Approach to Sustainable Climate Change Initiatives.
Ron Basu, Wiley, ISBN 978 111 986 1256, February 2022
When we set up The Green Edge we expected there to be a lot of common ground between the world of total quality, process improvement, sustainability, and, of course, green skills. This recent weighty tome by a seasoned practitioner and expert fills an important gap in this shared skills territory. Many of the professional bodies at the heart of sustainability have produced skills maps for developing and progressing sustainability. Within these maps we see ‘management and assessment tools’, ‘analytical thinking’, ‘resilience, risk, and continual improvement’, ‘problem reframing and resolution’: all these skills also underpin the whole Six Sigma philosophy of driving out waste and developing processes that don’t create waste to start with.
We also see a high overlap in terms of business model thinking and operating assumptions between those for total quality (e.g. the European Foundation for Quality Management model) and those we have described in recent posts for the B Corp movement. Both seek to assess and strengthen how businesses work their whole purpose and governance, people employed and their development, the wider local community, the environment, and the relationships and influence over both suppliers and customers. For total quality can’t be achieved unless you have alignment with both suppliers and customers, and likewise, sustainability can’t be achieved without similar agreement.
Green Six Sigma is very much a practitioner’s toolkit and guide, peppered with case studies and tools and techniques, and all delivered in an accessible way. Together they help the reader to develop their understanding of the challenges, problem definition, and then moving a process into a more sustainable basis. We see this book as being a natural adjunct to those education and training programmes which are seeking to develop systems thinking and its application to sustainability and wider environmental issues. The contents and the way they are laid out lend themselves to the development of online learning and support materials, and could be easily worked into most apprenticeship programmes.
Other publications we’ve noted with interest
Transform Talent Podcast: Achieving a Net Zero Talent Ecosystem in 2022
Manpower Group, 2022
An interview of Allison Kerska, Global Talent Consulting VP at Talent Solutions.
Green Issues and White Space
Luther Pendragon, November 2021
Course Correction: why we need to reform apprenticeships
Onward, April 2022
Minutes of meeting No 9
Skills and Productivity Board, UK Government, 11th January 2022
Looks like something will be publicly available very soon. Minutes of the February meeting have not been uploaded yet.
The State of Fashion 2022
Business of Fashion and McKinsey, March 2022
Especially Chapter 7, Circular Textiles (pages 73-87)
Racing Green: How Motorsport Science can save the world
Kit Chapman, Bloomsbury, ISBN 978 147 298 2179, March 2022
Briefing: Blue Carbon
Climate Change Committee, March 2022
Cutting the Cost of Living with a Green Economy
Green Alliance, March 2022
A Toolkit for City Regions and Local Authorities
Ashden Climate Solutions in Action, September 2020
In particular, Economic opportunity and job creation (pages 28-46)
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