WLB Presents Final Report On SDF Green Skills Project

Report summarises the insights generated through the employer engagement conducted by West London Business for the SDF Green Skills Project...

West London Business has been working with the Further Education Colleges across the area to focus new government funding for education and training that will support residents wanting to work in sectors that will be critical to decarbonising the economy.

The specific WLB role was to enable the voice of West London employers to be heard on the skills and capabilities that their workforces will need to seize the growing business opportunities in activities such as retrofitting properties, low carbon transport, energy efficiency and digital sustainability.

Over the last few months, WLB has engaged almost 100 employers and representative bodies about the skill gaps in the labour market that need to be addressed to meet the demand for goods and services in these sectors with a focus on businesses providing services to end users (rather than technology or product development).

In some cases that has taken the form of bespoke support sessions which allowed business owners to directly identify the skills gaps in their own organisation given their business development goals and how these might best be met, including through the development of courses and curriculum in local FE colleges. The project has developed a methodology for such Training Needs Analysis sessions which can now be used more generally.

As part of the wider project, the colleges have been putting in place new facilities kitted out with relevant equipment and bringing on stream new courses and curriculum.

Our report summarises the findings from the engagement activity and the lessons for future development. There is a clear need for more hybrid arrangements to be developed between colleges and businesses to help students learn through applying what they have been taught on site and on the job.

SDF Green Skills Project Director Kevin Lloyd said of the report: “There is appetite from businesses to be more involved in the design and delivery of training for their current and future employees if that can be done in an efficient and effective manner. However, the way that people developing policy or programmes talk about ‘green skills’ is often not helpful and is confusing to a business audience. What businesses understand are the technical skills and the capabilities needed to do the job. It is the job that is ‘green’.”


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