The UK manufacturing industry is embracing digital and green technologies in the charge towards the government’s net zero targets.
The sector is making moves to slash greenhouse gas emissions, cut energy use and move to renewable and sustainable energy sources, new research by industry trade body, Make UK, has published alongside cloud business management firm Sage.
Manufacturers are powering ahead with training staff in the latest technologies so they have the right skills to embrace digital and green solutions.
The new research shows employees are being taught the latest automation, such as smart monitoring, remote sensing, data analytics and clean production.
70% of businesses have invested in training for their employees in the last year to improve their digital application knowledge.
Make UK says 1.2 million jobs could be created in the manufacturing and construction sector in a green economy by 2050. And digitally enabled energy efficiency could save UK business £6 billion by 2030.
The report revealing 98% are aware of the Government’s net zero target. 92% say this is achievable in their business by 2050, but only if the right help is in place. This should include the introduction of a green skills tax credit to encourage manufacturers to upskill more of their staff.
77% of companies surveyed said that they intend to set their own net zero target for their businesses within the next 24 months. 62% are also confident that their workforce is equipped with the green skills needed, but a third are experiencing a skills gap. Innovation is the top of the list in terms of skillset companies feel is needed to achieve the green targets, with 72% of companies saying a boost to innovation skills is critical to success.
Of the companies surveyed, 45% of companies revealed that green skills are needed at a higher level of training than other areas of business, with 30% saying those skills must be at level 6 or degree level.
Stephen Phipson, CEO of Make UK, said: “Britain’s manufacturers have long shown that they are at the forefront of innovation globally and they have already gone a long way to improve their processes and production in the quest to reach net zero. But in order that they continue at speed, business needs government to play its part in driving the process forward.
“To that end, Government needs to prioritise educational resources to make sure there is an increased provision of training at the higher skill levels of degree standard or above level 5. This will help to make sure industry has the skills it needs to take advantage of the opportunities in the digital and green economy. They should look to implement a green skills tax credit to encourage manufacturers to train their employees in the latest green skills and introduce a Help to Grow Green programme for managers and leaders to train them in the latest sustainable manufacturing processes and procedures.”