New skills are needed in the workforce to address the challenges posed by climate change and the drive for sustainable development. However, there is a lack of clarity about what exactly is required of employees in terms of sustainability skills across all sectors, and what so-called ‘sustainability skills’ (also referred to as competencies, attributes, literacy) might entail. This scoping study, by Change Agents UK and the EAUC, examines perspectives from three key stakeholder groups: university leaders, business leaders, and recent graduates. It interrogates their opinions on what ‘sustainability skills’ are, which skills are important for employability and/or sustainability, and how they could be best instilled in students and young people.
This piece of research is particularly relevant as it comes at a time when the recently launched Kickstart Training and Development Scheme can provide excellent opportunities to support the creation of meaningful work placements for young people. On top of this, the current Government major expansion of post-18 education and training to level up and prepare workers for the post-Covid economy comes to confirm the need to help young people and adults gain the skills needed to work in sectors which will support UK’s economic recovery.
“This research study highlights the urgent need for cross-sectoral collaboration on skills to evolve into active partnership where new solutions are jointly created. This should involve government, business and the education sector working together to build a framework for skills that will address the challenging targets for Net Zero and the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals. Young people must be given a voice in this process; their perspective is important in understanding the skills gaps they currently experience and building a skills strategy for the future.
2020 has shown us that radical change achieved at pace can be possible when it is necessary. Young people who were already facing a precarious future have seen this further compromised by the COVID19 pandemic – we must act now to ensure they have the skills, knowledge and experience they will need to succeed as we enter this most challenging global period.” - Lexie Jones, CEO Change Agents UK
Future Graduate Skills Report_Change Age
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