Training centres proposed to ease skills shortage

The UK must move urgently to address the skills shortage in the environmental sector if it is to build a successful low carbon economy, according to Labour MP David Kidney.

He is working on a plan to develop a new training centre in his own constituency, which he hopes will become a UK-wide network of facilities.

The SEE Change and SAFE centres would provide academic courses and qualifications, training developed in partnership with employers in the environmental industry, and visitor centres for the public to learn more about environmental technology.

“We don’t have all the skills that we need today for these technologies,” Mr Kidney told delegates at the SustainabilityLive! exhibition in Birmingham.

He is working with Rodbaston College in Staffordshire to develop proposals to open the first SEE Change centre.

Mr Kidney also told delegates his Government needs to do more to drive sustainable procurement.

“While Government recognises this and realises it must use the procurement process to lead by example, it’s not doing very well,” he said.

“Government must ensure that the policies and regulations for sustainable procurement put into place in the last few years are not put into practice.”

He has recently led a Parliamentary inquiry into sustainable procurement in Government and a report recommending ways that this can be improved will be published next month.

Mr Kidney also admitted that Government should be doing more to encourage the public to retrofit their homes to make them more energy efficient.

“I think we should be doing a lot more to go back and get people to fit energy efficiency improvements to their homes,” he said.

“I think there’s a lot more joined up thinking needed.”

Kate Martin

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie