Ethny Childs & Rhiannon Humphreys
23 June 2021

Skills, skills, skills

The environmental workforce is extremely diverse, spanning disciplines and sectors. To ensure that we are providing the best support we can to our members and the environmental sector at large, we need to gain a better understanding of the skills and knowledge currently sought in the sector, as well as identify emerging skills needs in response to environmental commitments/ambitions. 

You have two opportunities to contribute to improving our understanding of skills across the sector. The first survey asks what skills may be needed to support a green transition, and the second survey focuses on the skills that graduates are expected to have when they enter the professional environmental sector.

Skills for a green recovery

In the run-up to COP26 there has been increased focus on the need for low-carbon and sustainability skills and knowledge in order to achieve climate and net zero ambitions. Despite the increased rhetoric for the need to support upskilling and reskilling in the workforce, there is a lack of clarity as to what skills may be needed and how equipped the workforce is to support a green transition. 

It is with this in mind that we are launching a new survey Achieving net zero ambitions: Skills for a green recovery. Survey responses will be used to guide IES activity in the area of skills support and in the production of a briefing as part of our work on the STAGES on the road to COP26. The survey should take around 10 minutes to complete. The deadline for submissions is the 25th July at 11:59pm. 

Graduate Skills

The Quality Assurance Agency’s Subject Benchmark Statement for Environmental Sciences, Environmental Studies and Earth Sciences, which describes the academic standards expected of graduates, is currently being reviewed. CHES, the education branch of the IES, is involved with the review which is helping to shape the future of environmental science higher and further education.

CHES is seeking the expertise and input of IES members to understand what your expectations are of graduates in terms of their academic and professional skills and knowledge. By understanding the expectations of graduates held across the professional sector, we can ensure that the future standards appropriately equip graduates and further the environmental science profession overall.

If you are involved in any recruitment activities within your organisation or shaping the standards expected of graduates being recruited, please take a few minutes to complete our QAA Benchmark Review - Employers’ Survey. Responses will be used to inform the review and ensure future graduates are appropriately equipped to kickstart their careers in the professional sector. The survey should take around 7 minutes to complete. The deadline for submissions is 25th July at 11:59pm.