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Local Economy : LE ; 37(6):481-506, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-20243328


Achieving a just transition to a low carbon economy and society, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, is arguably one of the greatest policy challenges facing governments. It is also of deep concern to businesses, employees and the organisations that represent them. Much of the focus, particularly at policy level, has been on the potential of this transition to create new jobs especially through the growth of renewable energy and clean technology. In this paper, we argue that this focus on ‘green jobs', and in particular new green jobs, grossly underestimates the skills needs of a future workforce able to deliver a transition to a more sustainable low-carbon economy. The focus of this study is to gain an understanding of what skills are required to support the transition beyond these sectors. It critically reports on the results of a series of in-depth interviews with senior managers in key organisations within Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, UK. It sheds a light on the significant employment transitions taking place in organisations who are not specifically focused on delivering ‘green' products or services. It finds widespread acknowledgement of the importance of a green recovery, albeit predicated by economic growth. The key skills needs reported, at all levels were likely to be ‘soft' transferrable skills rather than ‘hard' technical skills. COVID-19 was recognised as both a disrupter and as a catalyst for a green transition.