As the election campaign in the United Kingdom is now complete, the industry can now observe how the political scenario is going to affect it in the coming 5 years. However, David Kirkham of Employer First believes that the new UK government will have to face a lot of challenges if it plans to effectively deal with the impending green skills crisis. Employer First is interested in skills specifically in the Low Carbon sector, widely described as renewable energy, upcoming low carbon technologies and environmental services.
A growing sector
In general, this sector is developing in a notably fast pace as compared to the national growth rates with the employment growth in the sector at 9 per cent during 2013-2014. This figure can be compared against the national average of almost 1.2 per cent in the same duration. However, the data related to growth do not highlight demands related to workforce replacement or productivity. Such sectors also attempt to combat the weight of observed skills gap in engineering, science and technology and require the government to establish an environment where businesses can acquire the necessary skills which they need and when they need it.
Shortage of right skills
It is believed that the risk is substantial. In the past year, the Institute of Engineering and Technology published the findings of a survey which showed that around 100,000 new engineers will be required every year. Moreover, over 60 per cent of companies considered a shortage of engineering skills as a serious threat to their work. These types of challenges are also present in science and technology. All these types of skill sets are essential if we want the green business sector to grow and expand in the United Kingdom in the coming 5 years.
As of now, the Conservative Party has accomplished a remarkable majority in the House of Commons and supposedly will work on their manifesto commitments during the life of the parliament. It makes sense now that we take some time and observe what the party is committed to, what is new, what is continuation of current policies and most of all, what has not been dealt with.
The public declaration includes the following-
During the election campaign, the Conservatives promised to create 3 million new apprenticeships in the next 5 years, as compared to the 2.5 million which were formed during the 5 year period of the previous parliament.
The party seems dedicated to abolish National Insurance contributions of employers on earnings up to the higher earning limit for apprentices, who are below the age of 25 years.
UTCs and degree apprenticeships
The party is committed to make sure that a new University Technical College must be constructed within the close reach of every city so that they can “roll out many more” degree apprenticeships.
Maths and Science in schools
The party is committed to “make Britain the best place to study maths science and engineering” by training an additional 17,500 maths and physics teachers in the coming the next 5 years.
It is expected that all these steps will help to reduce the skills gap and enable employers to deal with issues related to recruitment, skills and training.
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