Skip to main content

Our plan for delivering skills that support Wales’ journey to net zero.

First published:
28 February 2023
Last updated:


Wales made a commitment to publish a skills action plan to support its net zero plan commitments. Skills is a recognised key enabler for delivering change.

Our approach

We have built on the partnership approach outlined in the Stronger, Fairer, Greener Wales: a plan for Employability & Skills. We have undertaken extensive stakeholder engagement which has shaped and informed the plan.

We recognise the importance of investing in people, skills and talent. Crucial elements that drive us towards a stronger, fairer, greener economy. A Just Transition is at the heart of our approach.

The plan

The plan sets out this Government’s commitment to supporting skills.

It details the current sector landscape in Wales and how we aim to support net zero skills for the future.

We have undertaken extensive stakeholder engagement. The plan outlines 7 priority areas and 36 actions with the aim to deliver change and support future skills.

The 7 priority areas

  • Gain an understanding of the current skills position for each Emission Sector.
  • Build a shared understanding of net zero skills across Wales.
  • Grow a skilled workforce to meet our net zero commitments.
  • Strengthen the skills system.
  • Promote opportunities for early years and young people to realise their potential.
  • Cross government and partnership approach to meet our skills commitment.
  • Just Transition.

The plan includes a summary of the current skills position of our 8 headline emission sectors.

The plan celebrates some of the successes that we are already seeing across Wales. We hope these examples will inspire and motivate. Helping you see the great work that is already taking place and the potential that exists. By investing in skills we will help deliver change. A series of case studies have been created to support the plan.

Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, said:

This plan is just the start of this process, we realise that we cannot deliver this in isolation. A Team Wales approach is the only way we can drive forward these changes and meet our net zero commitments. We will build on our proven record of Social Partnerships, working with trade unions, employers and other key partners to support an economy based on the principles of fair work, sustainability and the industries and services of the future.

Areas of action

Sector landscape

  • Undertake a public consultation on the sector specific skills requirements to inform a Skills Roadmap for each sector.
  • Grow and strengthen the right skills sets for each sector.
  • Publish Sector Roadmap to support skills development.

Key priority

  • Grow and strengthen the right skills sets for each sector.

The plan sets out the current skills position of the 8 headline Emission sectors in Wales.

Research and evidence commissioned from the Wales Centre for Public Policy (WCPP) has helped inform the plan. This is set out in their ‘Net zero skills: insights and evidence from emissions sectors in Wales’ report.

Evidence captured has helped inform the current net zero skills position across Wales. Future skills needs and gaps have emerged and changes in jobs and occupations. This is summarised in Annex 1: skills emission sector overview and cross cutting themes.

The outcomes of the research that have informed this plan, is the starting point. Wider more focused research is required. We aim to undertake a public consultation exercise in the Spring. This will support the development of a skills roadmap for each emission sector in Wales.

Cross cutting themes

Key priority

  • Embed Cross cutting themes throughout the plan’s delivery.

Skills that cut across many sectors are a theme within the plan. They include, digital, Welsh language, procurement and the circular economy. Skills in these areas will help enhance and support the more direct sector linked skills.

Understanding net zero skills

  • Building a shared understanding of net zero skills.
  • Awareness raising, information and opportunities.
  • Sharing knowledge and good practices.

Key priority

  • Create a shared understanding of net zero skills, opportunities and information for all, promoting a positive culture.

We all need to understand what they mean for us, our jobs and businesses. The plan sets out what we know so far. The actions we will deliver will help build a shared understanding of what net zero skills mean. Case studies help promote good practice. We want to increase awareness of the great work already taking place in Wales.

Within the plan we have interpreted net zero skills in broad terms. What they mean for each sector can vary, what they mean for each role will vary. Its how jobs and skills will change and how they support growth that is important. All jobs have the potential to be green, some to a greater extent than others.

Skilled workforce

  • Developing the Journey to competence.
  • Supporting our employers and our partners.
  • Delivering new approaches to growing our skilled workforce.

Key priority

  • Support Wales grow a skilled workforce to meet out net zero commitment in a rapidly changing economy.

The plan aims to deliver options that support businesses to make informed choices. We want to help them understand the benefits of investing in skills. Even small changes to business practices can help support our net zero commitments.

For individuals its about choices and career opportunities. We want to create a clear understanding of the skills and qualifications journey for each occupation.

There is a strong need to diversify the workforce. To address perceived occupational stereotypes. We aim to further explore the challenges and understand the barriers to engagement from early years onwards.

Skills system opportunities

  • Explore options to strengthen our skills system.
  • Clarification on the skills offer.
  • Harnessing links with Industry to support knowledge transfer.

Key priority

  • Strengthen the skills system.

The demand for net zero or green skills will increase. Jobs will change as sectors evolve and adapt to the future. We need to ensure that the skills system meets that demand.

How does it shift to become more flexible, agile and responsive?

This chapter explores the challenges faced in delivering the right skills. The infrastructure and elements involved. It explains the current skills system and the elements need to come together to meet the new challenges.

Young people and early years

  • Understanding careers opportunities and options.
  • Sharing good practice models for school and employer programmes.

Key priority

  • Promote opportunities for early years and young people to realise their potential.

Wales needs to support and create a workforce for the future. To do this we recognise the need to both motivate and engage with young people. We need to make clear the career opportunities and the world of work of the future.

Partnership approach

  • Continue our collaborative approach with our partners and stakeholders.
  • Establish new dynamic working groups to deliver and embed change.

Key priority

  • Cross government and partnership approach to meet our skills commitment.

The challenge is to support the net zero journey by providing the right skills. We know this requires a significant effort by all. So we have adopted a cross-government and partnership wide approach. 

We have undertaken extensive engagement to inform this plan. Seeking advice and consulting with internal and external stakeholders, amounting to over 200.

The outcome has helped inform this plan and create the actions that we will deliver together.

Just Transition

  • Driving forward positive actions to ensure no one is left behind.
  • Learn and adapt to new approaches based on evidence and research.
  • Embed Cross cutting themes throughout the plan’s delivery.

Key priority

  • Support a Just Transition.

Delivering a just transition means we leave no-one behind.

We have set out how we will work to develop a clear understanding of the impacts of change. We have committed to learning lessons from the past and building a future for Wales that supports a wellbeing economy.

Green personal learning accounts (PLAs)

A PLA will allow you to study fully funded, flexible part-time courses around your existing responsibilities.

Providing opportunities for individuals to upskill or re-train is important. It is a recognised key driver for delivering the right skills needed to support our net zero journey.

Our aim is to support new and emerging net zero skills in targeted sectors.

The new investment will be delivered in the same way as the main PLA programme (you can find out more about PLAs on Careers Wales), but will include:

  • applicable sectors (including energy, construction, engineering and manufacturing)
  • removal of the earnings cap of £30,596

Expert industry panel

A specialist panel has been established to support the approval of courses under the green PLA pilot. The panel consists of colleges, sector experts and industry experts. The aim is to ensure that these targeted upskilling opportunities are meeting industry needs.

Approved list of courses

A list of courses have been approved for delivery by our network of Further Education Colleges in Wales.