What skills do we need in the next 12 months?
The waste and recycling sector employs over 150,000 people directly in managing the nation’s waste and resources, and many thousands more support aspects of sustainable resource management some of the time – from facilities managers to WEEE repairers and beyond. These people are essential now but are increasingly critical to the future of our sector as we transition to activities further up the waste hierarchy and embrace more circular economy thinking and business models. But, how will the continuing transition to a low carbon and resource focused economy impact these roles, and what skills and competences will our sector need to ensure this transition is effective over the next two years?
Recent reports have highlighted the significant opportunity for new jobs in supporting a more circular economy: one focused on keeping resources in productive use for longer; and one that is more service driven and less about post-consumer waste. WRAP have suggested 500,000 new jobs linked to the circular economy, whilst the Green Alliance suggest 450,000 new jobs are needed by 2035, from reuse and repair, to remanufacturing, service provision and more closed loop recycling, all of which will play a key role in the UK’s decarbonisation agenda. CIWM have suggested that 10,000 new jobs could result from the current policy reforms around extended producer responsibility and consistent collections, whilst 15,000 new jobs will be needed to support the increasing demand for reuse sites and repair centres. The potential employment scale of opportunity in our sector is huge, from front line operatives to senior decision-making, innovators and entrepreneurs. But the skills needed to deliver not only these new frontline services, but also the new support systems, data management, decision-making, and communications and behaviour change specialisms are not as prevalent in our sector today as we need, so what can we do over the two years to lay the foundations for a more highly skilled and competent workforce that meets the needs of the policy reforms that our sector is currently facing? And, what can you do to ensure you are fully equipped for the world of resource management tomorrow?
Our expert panel have an hour to discuss the changing shape of the waste and resources sector where policy changes are due to land imminently. They will reflect on the key skills required as our sector transitions consider what training will be needed and who provides it, the strategies needed to attract a new and skilled workforce to our sector whilst reflecting the development needs of our existing employees. The sector should have a pivotal role to play in the UK's green recovery, but only if we can get the skills and staff in place in what will be an increasingly competitive green marketplace.
Featuring speakers from Green Skills Council and Resource Futures alongside Dr Adam Read, President of the Chartered Institute of Waste Management (CIWM) the audience will have the opportunity to engage with the debate and send in questions to the panel during this informal, and interactive webinar.
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