As Australia transitions to a clean economy there are both known areas of change such as electrification and offshore wind and emerging areas such as renewable hydrogen and the circular economy. The output of many materials, products and services required for a clean economy will have to ramp up dramatically, and that will require adequate numbers of skilled workers.
While there is some uncertainty about where the skill needs will be, the International Labour Organisation has estimated that globally the clean energy transformation will create 25 million jobs and lead to a loss of 7 million jobs.
The transition has the potential to involve all industries, not only those in the low carbon and environmental goods and services sector. All businesses will need to use natural resources efficiently and sustainably. Therefore skill needs are likely to be multi-layered. Industry needs deep, technical skills but also transferable skills. The whole community will need clean economy literacy to enable a culture for transition.
There will be a growing need for skilled tradespeople and energy professionals in Australia; indeed, employers are already reporting skills shortages across these occupations as their businesses transition. In addition to needing a greater pipeline of workers with university and VET qualifications, it is likely short courses will be increasingly called on to rapidly upskill and reskill.
Join Megan Lilly, Executive Director of the Centre for Education and Training and our panel of speakers as they explore how Australia can develop the workforce required for a clean economy:
Michael Brear, Director, Melbourne Energy Institute, University of Melbourne and Net Zero Australia project
Dr Anita Talberg, Director – Workforce Development, Clean Energy Council
Ai Group member company representative