New research from the Ai Group Centre for Education and Training has found that most businesses feel positive about the transition to a clean economy, but many are only in the early stages of thinking about the skills and capabilities they might need to seize the opportunities.

The report, Skills for a Cleaner Future, is based on interviews with businesses from a broad range of industries including manufacturing, construction, engineering, health, food, electrical and packaging.

81% of the businesses in the study saw the clean economy transition as an opportunity, with 76% seeing it as an opportunity to reach new customers.

Over three quarters of the businesses surveyed had implemented changes as a result of the transition to a clean economy, and changing customer demands was a key factor – 77% cited this as a driver of change.

But when businesses were asked whether they had the skills and capabilities to successfully navigate the transition, the results were mixed – 55% said yes, 45% said no.

42% expected emerging or increased skills needs over the coming year. Among those who considered that their skills needs would increase, 48% predicted this would be skills in relation to the circular economy; 45% said skills in relation to clean energy.

Half the businesses said they expected that the skills or tasks in their existing jobs would change, and half expected completely new jobs to emerge.

Download the report