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WSP is driving green jobs and skills for a Net Zero future

WSP is driving green jobs and skills for a Net Zero future

 February 16, 2023

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WSP knows that climate emergencies, new government commitments and COVID-19, as well as what, where and how people are buying, are accelerating change and putting climate at the forefront. WSP is committed to helping clients and communities act positively, now, for the future.

The UK has legislated to reach net zero by 2050. WSP asks what role does the future workforce think they will play in the company's green transition?

Students aren't being drawn to future careers in sectors vital to decarbonising the UK’s economy, major new research by WSP suggests. In WSP's Green Jobs Green Future research, 50 per cent of students would consider working for a company that is not in a green industry to support its green transition, while over a quarter (28 per cent) saying they wouldn't.

WSP green jobs for green future

Driving Green Jobs and Skills for a Net Zero Future

Today’s students, trainees, apprentices and graduates are tomorrow’s workforce. They will lead the UK into its green future and be able to make the most of the opportunities it will provide.

Their views on their role in this future, and how the education path they are currently navigating fits into the UK’s green transition, is key to understanding what the workforce delivering net zero by 2050 will look like.

To better understand this, WSP, with input from partners, including EngineeringUK, surveyed nearly 4,000 16–23-year-olds in different stages of education to gauge their attitudes towards green jobs, skills and the future.

WSP surveys students views on green jobs term

WSP's Green Jobs for a Green Future research highlights that when asked whether they are confident or not confident in understanding the meaning of the term 'green jobs', the highest per cent of students surveyed (33 per cent) reported that they were confident.

The students also stated that they believe the Utilities sector to be the most important sector in helping the UK reach its net zero emissions target, followed by the Transport sector and the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector.

WSP sectors for achieving net zero target emissions

The research presents that when the students are thinking about their generation, 50 per cent of the students believe that they can make a high impact on tackling issues surrounding the environment and climate change.

WSP environment and climate change

WSP's Green Jobs for a Green Future research reveals that pay is the most important factor students consider when deciding upon a career, scoring 74 per cent. 64 per cent of the students noted that a career needs to be something they are interested in, and 48 per cent acknowledge that job security is an important factor.

WSP careers

WSP asked questions that helped gain an understanding of the students views on climate change, the school curriculum and careers provision, including STEM options, attractive work sectors, and their perception of green job opportunities regionally across the UK.

WSP social value impact

Finally, when thinking about potential employers, 22 per cent of the students surveyed think that it is very important that the organisation places a high priority on its social impact value.

Preparing for a green future

WSP and Savanta presented the initial findings from the research at an event hosted in the House of Commons in November 2022. A panel discussion followed, sponsored by Chair of the Further Education and Lifelong Learning All-Party Parliamentary Group, Peter Aldous MP, with stakeholders from WSP, EngineeringUK and RenewableUK.

Some of the trends identified in the research are published in WSP's launch press release. WSP's thought leadership pieces also discuss the vital role provision for green skills and jobs will play in preparing for the UK’s green future.

Inspired to join a company supporting the green transition?

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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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