Transferable green skills

Environmental awareness

Knowing the impact that our activity has upon the world around us is a key transferable skill that learners can develop in subjects as broad as Chemistry, Geography, Law and Sociology.

Many higher education providers embed environmental awareness throughout their curriculum, recognising that their students will need to be literate to the needs of employers in a green economy. This might be done through placements, special projects, voluntary work or lectures and events aimed at raising awareness and understanding.

Digital and data skills

Digital and data skills will be in demand to build a new energy infrastructure, and AI and digital twin technology can improve efficiencies across many sectors. For example, digital skills are required to develop a smart energy grid infrastructure to which delivers a reliable energy supply; maximise the range on electrical vehicle batteries; and transform logistics by consolidating deliveries and reducing the number of vehicles.

Many higher-level courses have a focus on developing learners’ data and digital skills, honing their abilities to real-world applications and providing them with the skills to adapt to changing technologies.

Project management

Across all industries, project management skills are needed in the transition to net zero to ensure timescales are managed and budgets are met.

Many courses and programmes of study are structured to teach students how to develop project management skills, in preparation for the world of work. This might involve group projects, simulated or live projects and extended pieces of work such as dissertations.

Creativity and communication skills

Creativity and communication skills are also required to effectively engage with the general public, build relationships with colleagues and clients, problem solve and provide genuine support as their customers begin transitioning to greener solutions in all aspects of their daily lives.

Communication skills are honed through academic and vocational study, as students are expected to reflect their learning in written assessments and spoken presentations. Many courses also focus on creativity, problem-solving and innovative thinking.

Leadership and change management

Leadership and management skills are needed to drive cultural change for a green economy, implement rapid change in organisations, and influence and guide the transition as new technologies, behaviours and systems are embedded.

Leadership skills are often explicitly developed as part of the curriculum of many HE providers, with opportunities for learners to take on additional responsibilities through voluntary work, student rep or sports team positions, charitable activities and academic responsibilities.