Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7538736244 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7951044809.
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Green skills development and job creation in the UK - priorities for industry transition, infrastructure modernisation, economic recovery and growth

Morning, Tuesday, 25th May 2021

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will consider key issues and practicalities for the creation of significant employment opportunities on the back of the Government’s ambition for a green economic recovery and industrial revolution.

The conference will be an opportunity to discuss next steps following recommendations due from the Green Jobs Taskforce -  set up to:

  • produce an action plan for government on immediate and long-term skills development and retraining in specific areas of green infrastructure and technology
  • help pave the way for a growing and diverse workforce in high quality employment

We are pleased to be able to include keynote contributions from representatives of two of the Green Jobs Taskforce member organisations: Nick Molho, Executive Director, Aldersgate Group and Steve Radley, Strategy and Policy Director, CITB.

There will also be keynote contributions from Rhian Kelly, UK Director, Corporate Affairs, National Grid; and Eliot Whittington, Director, Centre for Policy and Industrial Transformation; Director, The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group; and Lead, University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

With discussion on key steps for policymakers and stakeholders in linking a green economic recovery, skills development, renewed employment and regional growth, sessions in the agenda examine:

  • policy and strategy - what is needed to achieve the aim of a green economic recovery on the wave of the low-carbon transition
  • targeting investment and training - sourcing funding and supporting training where it is most needed to move forward economic recovery, and meet emerging and future demand for skills 
  • priorities in key sectors - looking at job creation and skills development in areas such as the energy system, manufacturing, transport, and construction, engineering and infrastructure
  • creating the conditions for green growth and job creation - next steps for UK-wide and local-level strategies, tackling cost barriers, utilising demand-led schemes, and seizing regional opportunities

The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with key policy officials who are due to attend from BEIS; Defra; the DfT; the NAO; The Planning Inspectorate the HSE; HMRC; the Northern Ireland Assembly; The Scottish Government; DAERA, NI; and the Welsh Government.

The agenda

  • Policy - long-term strategy for a green economic recovery on the wave of the low-carbon transition
  • Investment - leveraging finance for projects that contribute to economy-wide recovery, support green job creation, and help develop the net-zero economy
  • Training and skills - targeting measures for UK construction and engineering, and opportunities for boosting productivity and decarbonisation
  • Priorities for the Green Jobs Taskforce, and translating recommendations into action - designing strategies on a local level, utilising demand-led schemes, and recovery that serves the needs of households and communities
  • Transforming the energy system for clean technologies, and tying whole-system change into the green economic recovery
  • Practicalities of delivering the government aim of a green industrial revolution - addressing cost barriers, seizing regional opportunities for clean energy industries, and scaling up capabilities in low-carbon manufacturing
  • Transport and infrastructure development to enable decarbonisation - tackling local deficiencies, expanding capability for clean freight and mobility, and supporting reduction in regional inequalities
  • Coordinating policy for an inclusive green economic recovery with skills development, job creation,  and clean energy and infrastructure objectives

Key areas for discussion:

The Green Jobs Taskforce:

  • action points - examining the recommendations for creating long-term strategies for green jobs expansion and taking advantage of economy-wide opportunities in the low-carbon transition
  • policy for industry - developing sector-by-sector guidance and strategies, looking at:
    • the scope of government intervention required
    • the setting of achievable targets
    • identification of green economic recovery benefits
    • strategy for how they can be achieved
  • funding - what is needed to underpin the transition and cater for differing funding needs across key sectors, looking particularly at:
    • mechanisms for assessing and delivering resources that are needed
    • effective skills and career support schemes
    • contributing to the development of a net-zero economy
  • demand-led schemes:
    • potential scope - including what might be needed from successor schemes to the Green Homes Grant to be effective
    • engaging businesses and supply chains - latest thinking on strategies, including setting appropriate incentives
    • value for money - delivering sustainable and low-carbon benefits to households and the wider economy
  • net-zero at a local level - overcoming challenges to development, such as:
    • increasing coordination with local authorities
    • addressing specific geographical and economic barriers
    • developing long-term plans based on local capabilities and potential

A green industrial revolution - implementation challenges and pathways, and opportunities for spearheading an environmentally-sustainable economic recovery:

  • a regional approach - how UK regions can best take advantage of the low-carbon transition across their industry clusters, looking at support needed for:
    • manufacturing hubs, and commercialisation of innovative technology
    • developing green careers advice, skills development and employment opportunities in local economies
    • regional decarbonisation, looking at strategies and pathways
  • engaging local businesses - through opportunities for:
    • business growth support, including scaling up clean technology and manufacturing
    • reducing material and production costs, and improving levels of competition, in addition to removing barriers to market entry and scaling up
  • economy-wide decarbonisation:
    • overcoming obstacles - tackling challenges for electricity networks and barriers to whole-system change
    • network capacity expansion - steps for ensuring this is sufficient, and that it can integrate clean sources of energy and facilitate the potential for wider decarbonisation

Infrastructure development - looking at:

  • priorities:
    • ensuring delivery across the UK supports preparation for low-carbon ambitions and wider economic goals
    • implementation of the ‘levelling up’ and ‘building back better’ agendas
  • local focus - priorities for addressing deficiencies and supporting local employment, including:
    • the scope of schemes to target local maintenance and modernisation needs
    • identifying the types of infrastructure rollout that can best serve decarbonisation goals and economic recovery
  • addressing regional inequalities - tapping into the Government’s ‘levelling up’ policy agenda:
    • strategies for ensuring infrastructure improvements translate into development and economic growth in areas of greatest need
    • infrastructure quality and capacity - reducing regional differences in these areas, and providing a more resilient base for jobs growth and long-term regional decarbonisation
  • readiness for innovation - how challenges around new and emerging low-carbon technologies, such as electric vehicles, can best be overcome, and how to support new markets and industries in the process

A scan of relevant developments:

  • the Green Jobs Taskforce - set up through BEIS and the DfE, tasked with:
    • examining the long-term needs for a green economic recovery, and policy priorities for designing support schemes for jobs and skills development across energy-related sectors
    • helping ensure that the UK job market is able to capitalise on opportunities presented by the low-carbon transition
  • Budget 2021 - providing a roadmap of financial tools and priorities for a clean UK economic recovery after COVID, including:
    • recommitment to spend over £600bn in gross public investment to support the levelling up agenda this Parliament
    • direct funding, guidance and policy support for regional low-carbon projects, such as boosting manufacturing capacity, clean jobs growth, and net-zero renewable capacity expansion
    • a new £1bn Net Zero Innovation Portfolio to aid low-carbon project commercialisation and bring new technologies to market
    • mobilising the use of large-scale investment and regeneration programmes to accelerate recovery and levelling up, including through the UK Community Renewal Fund, Levelling Up Fund, and the Community Ownership Fund
  • the 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution - from the PM:
    • looking across the economy, including energy and transport, for technology commercialisation, innovation and strategy development to accelerate the low-carbon transition
    • with £12bn in initial investment for research and development
  • the National Infrastructure Strategy - with long-term priorities for infrastructure development across the UK up to 2050, including:
    • setting guidance and principles for unlocking nationwide economic growth and recovery, and faster project approval and completion
    • integrating net-zero commitments across development processes, with specific attention to public infrastructure as well as energy and transport
  • the Energy White Paper - the UK Government’s priorities and objectives for developing the energy system up to 2050, including:
    • a holistic approach to long-term decarbonisation and technology development
    • ensuring energy capacity is reliable and affordable
  • A New Deal for Britain - announcement by the PM:
    • with £5bn for job creation and supply chains, and shovel-ready road and energy projects
    • part of the Government’s Build Back Better ambition, and also tying in the ‘levelling up’ agenda
  • the Green Homes Grant - extended to 2022:
    • providing £2bn for household energy efficiency improvements in England
    • with the objective of improving residential energy efficiency while supporting jobs creation, supply chains and wider stakeholder involvement across all UK regions
  • the Green Recovery Challenge Fund - opened to applications in September 2020:
    • the Fund aims to allow recipients to create and retain jobs that help conserve nature and tackle climate change
    • providing individual grants of between £50,000 and £2m to environmental charities and their partners
    • £40m was awarded in December 2020 as part of the first round of funding, with the second round of applications for grants over £250,000 having closed in March 2021, and those under closing in mid-April

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by officials from BEIS; DAERA; Defra; the Department for Transport; the Health and Safety Executive; HM Revenue & Customs; the National Audit Office; the Northern Ireland Assembly; The Scottish Government; The Planning Inspectorate; and the Welsh Government.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy,  as well as from stakeholders involved in the green economy transition, including environmental groups, energy companies and their advisors, business consultancies, investment firms, vehicle manufacturers, urban and city planners, construction and engineering firms, science centres, law firms, land developers, researchers in academia and higher education, together with reporters from the national and specialist media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speakers

Steve Radley

Strategy and Policy Director, CITB

Eliot Whittington

Director, Centre for Policy and Industrial Transformation, Director, The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group and Lead, University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Keynote Speakers

Nick Molho

Executive Director, Aldersgate Group

Steve Radley

Strategy and Policy Director, CITB

Eliot Whittington

Director, Centre for Policy and Industrial Transformation, Director, The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group and Lead, University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Rhian Kelly

UK Director, Corporate Affairs, National Grid


David Symons

Future Ready Global Leader and UK Director, Sustainability, WSP

Susan Falch-Lovesey

Local Liaison Officer and Skills Champion, Vattenfall

Rebecca Stafford

Senior Manager, Net Zero Advisory Services, Energy Systems Catapult

Gary Carter

National Officer for Energy, GMB

Ian Rippin

Chief Executive Officer, Microgeneration Certification Scheme Service Company

Caroline Bragg

Head of Policy, Association for Decentralised Energy

Tanya Sinclair

Policy Director UK & Ireland, ChargePoint

Matthew Farrow

Director, Environmental Industries Commission and Director of Policy, Association for Consultancy and Engineering