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Backing green skills in the UK

The UK is drastically short of the skills needed to build a low-carbon economy – particularly those linked to making our homes more energy efficient. Warming our homes is a major source of emissions. To hit climate targets we need to upgrade, or ‘retrofit’, nearly 11 million homes by 2035. But we simply don’t have the workforce to take on the job.

The benefits of backing green skills are enormous. Support for green skills tackles the climate crisis, takes on fuel poverty, and powers good green jobs. New opportunities for young people, marginalised groups or those in less wealthy areas – including communities currently reliant on fossil-fuel industries – will drive a just transition, reducing inequality as well as emissions. 

Local authorities have a key role to play. Councils understand their residents’ needs, bring local stakeholders together, and are eager to create better housing, better places and thriving local economies that benefit all. 

The new technologies, visionary partnerships and bold approaches that can tackle this challenge already exist. If we scale these solutions up, and put more power in the hands of councils and the communities they work with, radical change is possible.


Our response to the UK green skills shortage ​

Supporting local authorities

Backing green skills is essential for councils looking to reach ambitious climate targets. But many authorities lack resources and expertise in this area. Our tools, networks, insights and case studies help them learn from each other and adopt best practice. We will be building on this to enable councils to work more effectively with small businesses, colleges, and the sector experts offering training schemes, green apprenticeships and funding solutions.

Lobbying for change

We need a nationwide skills revolution to create green jobs and low-carbon economies. This means sustained investment in training, steps to stimulate demand and much more. It’s time to drop the stop-start approaches that discourage businesses and potential trainees from entering the retrofit sector.

Ashden and our partners are calling for urgent government action on the issue. In particular, we are calling for a skills approach in line with a just transition. This means maximising the social impact of skills investment – and channelling support to the areas, communities and individuals that need it most.

UK green skills in the news:
updates, comment and analysis


Ashden joins LinkedIn’s Green Skills Fund

Ashden is proud to join LinkedIn to accelerate wider access to green skills and training.  LinkedIn is supporting the winners and finalists of Ashden’s 2021 Green Skills and Energy Access Skills awards. These innovators are creating the skills and jobs to deliver universal energy access, …

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2021 Ashden Award winners announced

We are delighted to reveal the winners of this year’s prestigious Ashden Awards – nine pioneering low carbon organisations from the UK and around the …

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Heat pumps: innovators call for urgency and joined-up thinking from UK Government

  Frontline enterprises and organisations have questioned the UK Government’s heat and buildings strategy, announced yesterday (October 19). Ashden helped innovators respond to the strategy …

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A missed chance to kick-start the home heating revolution

Picture credit: Kensa Group As the government commits to ‘build back better’ there is also an urgent need to ‘build and retrofit greener’ if the …

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Local authorities can drive a home retrofit revolution

This piece first appeared at Local Government Chronicle Radically reducing carbon emissions from our existing homes is one of the single biggest challenges facing the …

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Local government can drive the UK’s green skills revolution

A green recovery from coronavirus could create hundreds of thousands of green jobs. But how should government, business and education providers work together to ensure …

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News, resources and events for local authorities

Our towns and cities bulletin helps you deliver high-impact climate action. Discover useful tools and opportunities, whatever your council’s size and budget.

The path to a green recovery

UK Climate Champions

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