Employers from a range of sectors came together on CEME campus in April to discuss the skills needed for a future green economy.
Thousands of new jobs will be created over the next few years, fuelled by major urban and industrial developments across our region, including the new Thames Freeport and development of a hydrogen ecosystem, as we move closer to London’s target of reaching net zero by 2030.
Stimulating discussion around the region’s green skills needs was the Local London Green Jobs and Skills Partnership, led by London South East Colleges, which comprises colleges, local authorities and employers working together to develop and promote high-quality green skills training across London.
Mark Jenkinson of green consultancy Crystal Associates, Sarah Murray, Director of Local London and Louise Wolsey, Group Chief Strategy Officer of London South East Colleges, spoke about the importance of collaboration and ways to support the next generation of employees, such as upskilling and improved training facilities.
They discussed the following key recommendations to provide equal opportunity and the necessary skills and tools for local people to access the green jobs of the future:
- Develop the Local London region as a centre of excellence for key areas in built environment/retrofit, digital green skills and/or EV charging.
- Combine the installation of green labs and the greening of the curriculum with the wider decarbonisation of the college estates.
- Coordinate green career pathway delivery aligned with local and learner needs, college facilities and staff expertise.
- Develop a partnership-level industry engagement and communications strategy.
Breakout sessions were also held for delegates to discuss what colleges can do to help employers close skills gaps and also to explore the importance of building future skills. While there is funding for green laboratories at FE colleges to develop career pathways in key technologies, with focus on low-carbon and renewables and design technologies, collaboration with businesses is vital.