National Grid have announced a major new investment in London – and now they’re looking for the right people to fill jobs in the future. Today Gareth Burden – Project Director, London Power Tunnels – tells City A.M. why they’re doing it.
For this country to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 we require the development of cutting-edge technology and new infrastructure built on a transformational scale – a theme the Prime Minister majored on at his Conservative Party Conference speech this week.
What we need to achieve our goals is a Net Zero Energy Workforce which combines technical expertise, with softer skills and a passion for climate action. In fact, one of the biggest obstacles we face in reaching net-zero is the emerging employment and skills gap.
Currently, the UK’s energy sector directly employs 144,000 people but to reach net-zero it needs to fill 400,000 roles. This has the potential to be an opportunity for significant employment in every part of the United Kingdom with huge boosts for London and regional economies.
However, if the uptake of science, technology and engineering (STEM) subjects at school, university and as a career remains at current levels, we won’t be able to reach our target and the environment, and economy, will suffer as a result.
Read more: Boris Johnson announces millions for wind energy revolution
To succeed in building a Net Zero Energy Workforce, we need to inspire the next generation to choose STEM. Research carried out by Development Economics for National Grid found that we need to increase the number of A level candidates for physics by 24 per cent and maths by 19 per cent to maintain the pipeline of qualified talent Britain needs.
Diverse students should want to study STEM
Simply put, we will only