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Gemserv green skills research supports strategic roadmap for the science sector

27th Jul, 2023

A new report – A greenprint for skills for the low-carbon industries published by Cogent Skills – offers an industry-led view on how the science sector can enable the UK’s transition to a net zero society.

Gemserv is pleased to have worked alongside Cogent Skills to deliver their ‘Greenprint’ skills strategy. The report, released earlier this week, acts as a strategic roadmap for the science sector, providing clarity and direction on the green-skills and occupations required to achieve net zero. Despite the importance of science and engineering skills to net zero, DfE statistics highlight apprenticeship starts within the engineering and manufacturing subject areas have fallen by 35% from 2016/17 to 2021/22¹. Therefore, action is needed to address this worrying trend and ensure the UK science and engineering sectors are able to harness the local job creation and economic opportunities net zero brings.

The findings are employer-led, created via discussions with more than 40 industry experts and combined with Gemserv’s unique insight into the green skills landscape. Sectors included as part of the analysis are Hydrogen, Carbon Capture, Batteries, Fuel Cells, and the Nuclear sector. The report also incorporates an analysis of established industries, such as Downstream Petroleum, Chemicals, and Polymers (known as transitioning industries). These sectors are also evolving and must find new ways of working to deliver the transformative innovations necessary for achieving net zero.

The full report provides an overview of each technology area, followed by an occupation and skills mapping exercise detailing the roles needed. The analysis then assesses the current supply of skills in these areas before offering recommendations on how industry and its stakeholders can work collaboratively to manage the transition.

Jon Regnart-Russell, Senior Low Carbon Consultant at Gemserv, said:

As we transition to a net zero based economy, developing a robust pipeline of science-based skills will be crucial. The skills required range from highly qualified R&D scientists pushing the boundaries of innovation, right through to technicians operating and maintaining complex equipment and processes. The report launched by Cogent Skills, delivered in partnership with Gemserv, offer tangible recommendations on how to gear the UK’s science and engineering skills base towards delivering the future net zero technologies.

The recommendations are grouped into four broad themes and include insight on:

Skills Strategy: A comprehensive, strategic plan that instils confidence and stability in both industry and government, supporting long-term investment in skills development planning.

Skills System: The methods and precise mechanisms utilised by industry to address the current skills demand.

Future Workforce: Activities that aim to create a sustainable talent pipeline to meet future skills demand.

Enabling the Transition: Short-term measures to facilitate the UK’s transition to a net zero economy.

Click on the following links to access both the Executive Summary and Full Report published by Cogent Skills.



¹ Department for Education: Apprenticeships and traineeships, Academic Year 2021/22




Jon Regnart-Russell

Senior Consultant, Low Carbon

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