Building Skills for Net Zero Report

A Summary of CITB’s Building Skills for Net Zero Report

With the impending Net Zero by 2050 target, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) have conducted comprehensive research to outline the skills implications for the workforce required to reach the Government’s target. CITB’s Building Skills for Net Zero Report covers their key findings.

A key focus of the report is that there needs to be a transformation of the construction sector in order to meet Net Zero by 2050. To create this lasting transformation, CITB stress the importance of an industry-wide investment in skills, far-reaching skills policy reform and a recruitment drive. By using data from the Climate Change Committee (CCC)’s balanced scenario, CITB predict that an additional 350,000 full-time equivalent workers will be needed by 2028 – around a 13% increase on the current size of the workforce.

What did the respondents think?

CITB undertook 48 in-depth interviews with industry stakeholders and surveyed nearly 300 people.

3/4s of respondents said that decarbonisation was either important or very important to themselves or their company. With that, 70% responded that they have a good or very good understanding of how they will need to change their business because of the need to decarbonise, with 88%, saying they would be willing to diversify and 90% would retrain if necessary.

Tackling emissions

Estimates by the UK Green Building Council state that up to 95% of emissions from the built environment over the next 30 years could come from buildings that exist today.

Therefore, CITB believe focus must be put on the energy efficiency retrofit of existing buildings with predictions that at least some retrofit work will be required on around 27 million residential and 2 million non-residential buildings to reduce emissions over the next 30 years.

What will be needed to achieve Net Zero by 2050?

Within the Building Skills for Net Zero report, CITB outline what they think will be needed in order to achieve the Government’s target of Net Zero by 2050:

  • A widespread programme of upskilling and reskilling to improve the industry capabilities in areas such as project management, system design and digitalisation.
  • Constant re-assessment of future demand as the industry transforms.
  • Training programmes, courses, qualifications, and accreditation to support workers through lifelong learning so that they can continue to retrain and upskill as demands evolve.
  • A combined approach of pathways – hydrogen deployment through the grid, fabric first retrofit, heat pumps, heat networks and onsite energy.

How are CITB working to achieve this?

CITB have devised a plan to help meet the Net Zero skills challenge and are taking many steps such as:

  • Working with the UK Green Jobs Taskforce, the Construction Leadership Council, the Scottish Construction Leadership Forum, and the Welsh Construction Forum.
  • Developing and reviewing training standards that support the decarbonisation of the built environment.
  • Working with the British Standards Institute to update existing PAS retrofit requirements.
  • Supporting new training qualifications, including the Level 5 Diploma in Retrofit Coordination and Risk Management, Retrofit Assessor in Wales, and updates to existing qualifications such as the Insulation and Building Treatments NVQ.
  • Supporting the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments to map the skills implications of the plans they are currently developing to reach Net Zero in the built environment.
  • In England, supporting the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFATE)’s announced route review of construction apprenticeship standards to ensure they continue to meet emerging requirements.
  • Working with Skills Development Scotland and the Welsh Government’s Skills, Higher Education and Lifelong Learning team to support relevant reviews and developments.
  • Working with the UK Government to ensure new construction traineeships and associated fast-track apprenticeships being launched in England in 2021 will provide critical training and onsite experience in energy efficient building methods.
  • Working with Welsh and Scottish governments to provide new pathways from FE into industry that will be responsive to developing Net Zero requirements.

Faisal Hussain, HIES Chief Executive, comments:

“CITB’s Building Skills for Net Zero report showcased some interesting statistics and a thorough insight into what is needed to reach the Net Zero by 2050 target. It’s great to see the actions that are being taken by those in the industry, and the actions that the industry are prepared to take over the coming years. As an industry we really need to work together, as well as working with Governments, to ensure that the correct skills are developed and that there is a clear, outlined plan to developing these skills. We fully support CITB’s plan.”

To view the Building Skills for Net Zero report, please click here.

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