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Construction net-zero skills challenge kicks off

by Sion Geschwindt
Construction net-zero skills challenge kicks off

The Skills for a Sustainable Skyline Taskforce met for the first time yesterday in a bid to support the development of net-zero construction skills across central London.

The City of London Corporation launched the three-year initiative in response to skills gaps in the construction, retrofit, and maintenance of low-carbon commercial buildings which emerged from recent research.

The taskforce consists of construction chiefs and 72 sustainability specialists, including Mace chief of staff Hannah Vickers and Willmott Dixon chief sustainability officer Julia Barrett.

City of London Corporation policy chairman Chris Hayward is chairing the taskforce.

Hayward commented: “We want to safeguard London’s reputation as a world-leading built environment centre, and that can only be achieved through the transition to net zero.

“In the capital, construction and maintenance of our existing buildings accounts accounting for around 40% of our carbon footprint.

“The skills gap and labour shortage are threats to our net zero ambitions. The Skills for a Sustainable Skyline Taskforce will seek to address this urgent challenge.

“We must place the environment at the heart of our labour market and our labour market at the heart of our environment.”

A radical Climate Action Strategy commits the corporation to achieving net-zero carbon emissions from its own operations by 2027, as it works to hit the same milestone across the Square Mile by 2040.

The three-year initiative was launched in response to a poll of industry professionals in which 91% of respondents said the commercial, built environment sector lacked sufficient skilled workers to achieve net-zero targets.

Image credit: Sven Hansche/Shutterstock

Read next: To address skills shortages, construction must explore alternative paths to entry

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