New Government must plug energy skills gap

As the make up of the new Department of Energy and Climate Change was announced the head of the Energy Institute has warned their first task is to work fast […]

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By Sumit Bose

As the make up of the new Department of Energy and Climate Change was announced the head of the Energy Institute has warned their first task is to work fast to plug an engineering and science skills shortage.

James Smith, Chairman of Shell UK and the EI president said the coalition government’s plans to take us further towards a low carbon economy would be threatened unless they recruited and trained more bright young things with science on their minds.

He said, “Britain’s energy system needs a major rebuild to respond to future demand whilst meeting climate change targets.

“The industry will need large numbers of people with science and engineering skills coming in very soon to get the job done. The skills required are diverse, so apprenticeships for craft skills matter every bit as much as degrees in energy engineering. Closing the predicted science and engineering skills gap in the near future is a big job for government, industry, schools and universities.”

Secretary of State Chris Huhne MP a Lib Dem has been joined by Tories Charles Hendry MP and Gregory Barker MP at DECC. They will have a wide portfolio of new duties designed to reconfirm the new administrations commitment to being greener than the last.

A DECC spokesman said,” Obviously skills in low carbon technologies are imperative for a shift to a wider low carbon future and the new ministerial team will be reviewing all areas of energy policy in the coming months.”