More than 95% of companies across 8 countries say they don’t have all the skills to be resilient to climate change: IET Survey

The IET’s latest ‘IET International Green Skills 2023 Survey’ provides valuable insights into the challenges in the engineering skilling landscape with green technologies and sustainability

The survey also indicates that the majority of engineering employers globally are concerned about climate change

The IET’s latest ‘IET International Green Skills 2023 Survey’ provides valuable insights into the challenges in the engineering skilling landscape with green technologies and sustainability

The survey also indicates that the majority of engineering employers globally are concerned about climate change

Bangalore, 20 December 2023: With rising concerns surrounding global sustainability, engineers across the world are navigating the complex landscape of environmental concerns. The Institution of Engineering and Technology, one of the world’s leading engineering organisations, released a global survey on the impact of climate change on the engineering landscape that has unveiled widespread trepidation. The survey titled “IET International Green Skills 2023 Survey” was released at the COP28 summit, where the global engineering body had observer status. The study by YouGov was conducted across 10 countries covering all four geographical areas (Europe, Americas, APAC and MENA).

According to the survey, in eight out of ten respondent countries, less than 5% of businesses claim they possess the skills required to be able to withstand climate change. Only the UK and Australia sit above this at 10% and 7%. In India, about 88% of the engineering businesses reported being concerned about the impact of climate change with the UK having the lowest reported concern of 65%. For resilience against climate change impact, each country has different approaches and beliefs. China is more than twice as likely as the UK to believe that digital skills are required for resilience whereas the majority of Indian businesses believe that sustainability skills or knowledge is required to lower the environmental impact.

In terms of reaction to supply chains, the majority of businesses have witnessed an increase in the cost of some goods and services with 40% of Indian organisations witnessing the increase. Although many organisations believe that their workforce is agile enough to adapt to new technologies, most of them report a deficit of environmental and leadership skills. This has also been identified as the most common barrier for organisations in meeting net zero in seven among ten countries.

The majority of Indian engineering employers identify a skill gap in their organisation, and nearly all of them desire to upskill their personnel to address these gaps. The second most frequent objective indicated was adapting to new technologies (54%), and among Indian engineering businesses that currently upskill their workforce, the most popular method is online (45%) or employing new technologies (39%).

The survey reveals that at least two-thirds of organisations surveyed had a sustainability plan. However, only around 15% of those who have a strategy believe that their organisation has the necessary capabilities to implement it with 2% of Indians believing they have all the sustainability skills.

According to the survey, nine out of ten respondents have implemented organisational adjustments to reduce their organisation’s environmental effect, and 88% have also made technical improvements including India in second position after China. For the engineering sector to reach net zero, the majority of the respondents believe the government should focus on strengthening green economy policies and 40% of Indian organisations think incorporating sustainable technologies can help the country to meet net zero targets.

Although Indian engineering firms have positive perceptions of the educational system, new technologies and increasing mindset skills may be a future priority. Three-quarters of Indian engineering firms believe that the education system adequately guides young people to operate in their field.

Commenting on the survey, Mr. Shekhar Sanyal, Country Head and Director, IET India said, “This survey is a wake-up call to the industry to start investing in addressing the enormous gap that we currently have around green skills. It is also critical to start looking at their focus on sustainable technology and sustainable practices. This survey is a part of IET’s larger sustainable focus, and a precursor to the launch of India’s largest sustainability initiative, powered by IET India, early next year.”

The survey also indicates that climate change has raised concerns among Indian engineering companies, and some work has already begun on this front. Looking ahead, the majority (78%) report having a sustainability plan in place including India (40%), and nearly all have implemented some technology or organisational improvements to reduce their effect in the previous three years. However, when it comes to dealing with climate change in India, engineering companies may face a skills shortage. Lack of skills is the most prevalent obstacle to net zero reported by Indian engineering companies (38%). The survey also reveals that 46% of Indian engineering employers believe that environmental skills are required for a sustainable approach, and they are the most generally mentioned as lacking talents (44%).

YouGov conducted the IET survey online from August 21 to September 10, 2023, among 2,142 persons working in the engineering sector in Australia, Brazil, China, Egypt, Germany, India, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Key Takeaways of the Report:

Fewer than 5% of engineering companies across eight countries think their organisations have all of the skills to be resilient to the impacts of climate change

88% of Indian engineering firms are concerned about the impact of climate change

42% of Indian orgs surveyed, believe that specialist environmental or sustainability knowledge is required to be resilient against any impact of climate change

Indian engineering employers (38%) report a lack of skills as the most common barrier to achieving net zero

About two-thirds of organisations in each country surveyed have a sustainability strategy but less than 15% think they have the necessary skills

95% of Indian orgs surveyed identified skill gaps at particular skill levels, (25% rated Engineering / technical skill gap among people with professional degrees as the highest identified)

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