The Growth Company once again joined Greater Manchester’s annual Green Summit on Monday, 17 October, to show our support for our city’s goal to be a zero-carbon city by 2038.
This was an opportunity to showcase the training and apprenticeship programmes provided by the Green Skills Academy that will open later this year and how we can help bridge the skill gap for our workforce to seize the opportunity that arises from the transition.
Roosevelt Alexander, Director of the Green Skills Academy, The Growth Company, Education & Skills, took part in a panel discussion, joined by colleagues from Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), to highlight the need for a skilled workforce for the upcoming green economy. GC also set up an exhibition booth in the venue to engage with businesses and young people on climate change and highlight our training courses to future-proof workforces and apprenticeship programmes.
Now in its fifth year, the Green Summit provided a platform for businesses, policymakers, local communities and industry to discuss how the city-region should accelerate action against its five-year environment plan and the critical environmental challenges faced by the city-region from implementing the new policy. With more focus on engaging the younger generation around climate change, a youth-specific event opened by the Mayor of Greater Manchester highlights the determination to get young people involved in our road to the goal of net zero.
A panel discussion on “Educating today to change tomorrow – a green skills perspective” was held in the afternoon. Joseph Crolla, Industry Skills Intelligence Lead, GMCA, hosted the event, which was attended by around 50 delegates. Roosevelt Alexander highlighted the importance of upskilling the workforce for businesses to equip themselves for the green economy. He also shared more details on the Green Skill Academy at Trafford Park, due to launch in Autumn 2022, and its critical role in Greater Manchester’s ambitions to reach net zero carbon as early as 2038 and UK-wide by 2050.
“Greater Manchester is moving forward according to its plan to become a zero-carbon city in 2038,” said Roosevelt Alexander. “Such a large-scale transition will definitely introduce a new set of skill requirements for our workforce. In GC, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to join this event and showcase our offer to businesses and young people to equip themselves with the necessary skills for the future green economy to tackle climate change. We were also glad to attend the discussion as so many business leaders and young people joined together on such an important occasion so that we can connect to discuss how to make a difference.”
“It is really good to have this platform where different stakeholders can come together and focus on the question of skills gaps and tackle the problem through collaboration,” said Alex Edwards, Sustainability Director at Bruntwood, one of the attendees of the panel discussion. “Employers always face the problem of the lack of a skilled workforce, which hinders their capability to seize the opportunity brought by the transition. Having the existing workforce upskilled is an option, but more important is to let the younger generation know about the prospect of the green economy and encourage them to receive proper training so that we can bridge the skill gap.”
As housing accounts for one-third of emissions in Greater Manchester, if we are going to become a zero-carbon city, we must take action to retrofit our housing. The GMCA estimates that the city-region will need an extra 7,000 to 8,000 construction workers over the next five years to achieve its carbon-cutting targets – and around 80,000 of the staff currently working in the construction industry will need to be ‘upskilled’.
Besides housing, another one-third of carbon emissions in Greater Manchester is from transportation, so changing how we move around our city-region will have an enormous impact. To assist the transition, we need to train around 40,000 to 50,000 workers to have a workforce that can support and maintain new electric vehicles and related infrastructure, including the electrification and maintenance of train/tram networks.
It’s more than evident that the demand for a workforce equipped with the skills that can suit the requirement of the green economy is exceptionally high. Growth Company Education and Skills understands that training and skills are essential for our workforce to seize the opportunity of the upcoming green economy, especially in the housing and transportation sectors. As part of a pan-northern effort to lead the UK’s transition to net zero, the Green Skills Academy in Trafford Park will be ready later this year. Housing the latest green technology equipment and emerging technologies, the academy is a specialist centre for emerging technologies in Greater Manchester and beyond.
The first of its kind in the North, the academy will deliver courses such as:
For a business looking to prepare their workforce for the opportunities and challenges presented by the global transition to a carbon-neutral economy, or for those looking for an apprenticeship in this sector, the Green Skills Academy will be a one-stop campus to support the community of Greater Manchester to become a carbon zero city.
For more information on:
Green Skill Academy
Green Skills Academy (gceducationandskills.ac.UK)
If you have further questions or would like to discuss collaboration, please contact: