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How LEPs are helping to turn skills and economies green

Last updated 20 July 2022
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The transition to green skills is one of a number of mega trends set to transform economies and labour markets – not just internationally but at local levels too, writes Jamie Mackay, Skills Strategy Manger at Enterprise M3 LEP.

The Government’s Green Jobs Delivery Group met in May as it looks to support the delivery of up to 480,000 skilled green jobs across the country by 2030. The Local Government Association (LGA) has published research which considers the projected green jobs and the associated skills demands across England by 2030 and 2050. More recently, the Government’s new Unit for Future Skills looks to help monitor national and local labour market changes, including some insights into emerging green jobs.

Through the Skills Advisory Panel programme and other mechanisms, LEPs are joining the dots between labour market intelligence, employers and providers to help ensure pathways are in place to provide the right skills to support local areas transition to a low carbon economy.

For example:

The new Vision for Enterprise M3 LEP has a laser focus on driving a low carbon, high growth economy across Hampshire and Surrey. The LEP’s employer-led Skills Advisory Panel continues to work with educational establishments to futureproof our skills pipeline – especially in low carbon sectors. The £30m Future Fund will directly support commercial innovation with particular focus on net zero, digital connectivity and the skills to support these areas.

LEPs have also come together for regional green skills and investment planning purposes. The Net Zero North West, for example, is an industry-led partnership uniting business, regional leaders and academia to build a strong voice and holistic vision for industrial decarbonisation in the North West. It showcases the investment opportunities presented by the region's drive to achieve net zero emissions by 2040 and become the UK’s first decarbonised region and industrial cluster with a workforce of over ½ million.

With £9.5m funding from the Leicester and Leicestershire LEP Local Growth Fund, MIRA Technology Institute (MTI) is a bespoke global centre for skills on the grounds of the MIRA Technology Park, bringing together education and business to help address the “Future of Mobility” through low carbon solutions to move people, goods and services around our towns, cities and countryside.

‘A world class green business and talent base’ is prominent in the Solent LEP 10 Point Plan for Building Back Greener in the Solent, which looks to develop the local business base and skills needed to drive a green industrial revolution in the area. The recently designated Solent Freeport will play a central role in this with its focus on clean growth, green skills and jobs.

In these examples, together with commitments outlined in various Local Skills Reports from LEPs and Mayoral Combined Authorities, there is clear evidence of local skills leadership in building green skills and jobs through:

  • business support to become more sustainable
  • decarbonisation of buildings and homes
  • generating low carbon heating and energy
  • smarter, cleaner and sustainable mobility solutions

As LEPs work with employer representative bodies, such as Chambers of Commerce, with the rollout of Local Skills Improvement Plans, I look forward to this work moving up another level – ensuring that the voice of business is central to any future, local education and training provision.

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