Refurbishing homes to become Green Homes will cause a skills shortage in the UK
What are we doing about this in Australia? Will it add to the existing shortage of skilled workers in the construction industry?
Retrofitting and refurbishing buildings to the extent necessary to meet government energy efficiency targets requires an additional 350,000 skilled construction workers in Britain by 2028. They are going to need more gas fitters, glaziers, insulation specialists and, most of all, more project managers if we want the built environment to become carbon neutral.
The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has modelled the skills profile of the workforce needed to deliver ‘net zero’ using data from the Climate Change Committee (CCC). This shows that by 2028 additional decarbonisation work will have created the demand for 86,000 construction project managers, 33,000 building envelope specialists and 59,000 plumbers and HVAC specialists.
These will need to be found through a mix of new skilled jobs, increased efficiencies in existing roles, and innovation. That’s the key finding of Building Skills for Net Zero, published by the CITB today (15 March 2021).
UK construction contributes approximately 40% of the UK’s emissions, according to the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC). Reducing this to zero is not yet being considered, but there is a target to reduce it to net zero by minimising carbon emissions and then putting money into carbon offsetting schemes, such as tree planting. Putting offsetting schemes in the eco ledger of the construction industry, will enable construction to claim to be net zero, regardless of how close to, or far from, zero it actually gets.
However, the drive for a cleaner, greener construction presents big opportunities to make the industry more attractive to new recruits and upskill the existing workforce, the CITB says.