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Meeting the Low Carbon Skills Challenge

Objectives of the consultation

This consultation set out the Government’s views on the key skills-related priorities and challenges which must be met to successfully:

  • Enable British workers and businesses to take advantage of the opportunities in the sectors key to reducing carbon emissions;
  • Embed the necessary skills across all sectors to move the UK to a low carbon and resource efficient economy.

This consultation sought views on the priorities, challenges and gaps identified; on how businesses can best be incentivised and encouraged to respond so that they have the skills they need at all levels; and on how the education and skills system can respond so that it is strongly focused on the needs articulated by businesses.

The consultation closed on 23 June 2010.

Supporting papers

To download the consultation document, please follow the link below.

CIBSE response

CIBSE believes that the consultation document appears to confuse education and training. The timescales, processes and people involved are different for both of these. Generally, we see non-vocational education in STEM topics as providing underpinning knowledge and understanding. Skills relate to practical implementation. It seems to us that a strategy for steering greater numbers of young people into STEM education is fundamentally different from a strategy for identifying and delivering training in specific skills such as retrofitting the existing housing stock with low carbon heating technologies.

The document does not articulate a coherent strategy. Indeed, para 42 asks whether, if only we could co-ordinate all the collaborative and competing skills initiatives in every sector, this would add up to a strategy. We feel this is the wrong approach.

Paragraph 8 of the Executive Summary suggests that the only skills requirements for decarbonising the existing housing stock and building zero carbon homes will be “at graduate level, to develop, manufacture and implement new technologies”. It suggests that we merely need to “enhance existing practical construction skills for installing new adaptation and mitigation strategies”. CIBSE believes that this view is fundamentally wrong.

To read the full CIBSE response, please follow the link below.

Results of the consultation and next steps

The Government published its response to the consultation on Meeting the Low Carbon Skills Challenge in December 2010. To read the Government response please follow the link below.