Transition towards a smart local energy systems (SLES) will put pressure on the energy industry where workers across the sector will require an updated skills profile to be able to take up the newly emerging occupations brought about by technology and policy changes. This will involve ‘greening’ of existing occupations as well as the transfer from conventional energy occupations to low-carbon energy jobs.
If the workforce is to be well trained in time to take up the newly emerging opportunities, it is important to be able to forecast which skills will be in demand in the future, by what time, and in what quantities. To support a smooth transition to SLES, the content and level of education and training provision needs to be anticipated to close any skills gaps that would hinder the transition process. The skills needs assessment must take into consideration local circumstances to factor in different regional characteristics and needs. A wide range of factors may contribute to a skills shortages including political, technological or societal and these need to be overcome.
In the UK, aggregated national and sector specific skills data is readily available. However, in the low carbon sector skills are less frequently explored. Low carbon energy is not typically classified as a separate industry in UK. Data regarding the scope of the energy sector can vary from project to project.
The National Skills Needs Assessment work within EnergyREV will provide a database of knowledge areas of the energy system (what a worker needs to know), the related skills per knowledge area (what a worker needs to be able to do) and the training provision required to support a productive and fair transition to SLES.
The work by the National Skills Needs Assessment EnergyREV team will work together with stakeholder representatives across the SLES.
Data on expected skills shortages will be collected from:
Subsequently, a forecasting model will be developed, informed by the labour market analysis and Delphi studies to enable regulators, policymakers, educators and businesses to consider the possible impacts of their decisions on future skills shortages in the SLES sector.
The systematic study will: