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A North East member of the government’s Green Jobs Taskforce has encouraged the region’s businesses to engage with the taskforce, to help it understand the type of jobs and support they need.
Sharon Lane, who is also managing director of Tees Components, was taking part in a net-zero discussion event organised by Deloitte, which addressed the immediate and long-term challenges of delivering skilled workers for the transition to net zero.
Sharon said: “A really important element of the taskforce is to understand specifically what the skills are that businesses require for immediate jobs and for the longer-term pipeline.
“New industries are emerging to support the government’s net-zero agenda. Everything from electric car charging to power production. Traditional industries are changing, too. Plumbers and heating engineers will need new skills to install new technology to heat our homes.
“It is vital that the Department for Education knows of any issues accessing training and qualifications, so there are no gaps and personnel receive the support they need.”
Sharon represents the region and the Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) on the taskforce, which includes representatives from companies such as the National Grid, Tata Steel, BP Ørsted and Nissan. It also features organisations such as the TUC, ECITB, and the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF).
During the event, Sharon also discussed the importance of the steel industry and the challenges it faces.
She said: “I think it’s so important now that we recognise the challenge that steel making faces in the UK with the net-zero goal that we have ahead of us.
“We’ve got to be able to have very honest, transparent conversations about what would be required to bring down those carbon emissions, recognising of course that recently there’s been discussion over, for example, the mine proposal in Wales, and that steel making does require coking coal to actually function.
“We’ve got to be able to have these discussions and not be tempted to go down the route of just offshoring a material that’s absolutely essential for our industry and for our country to function.”