The Skills Challenge for Reaching Net Zero

Sep 29, 2022

The journey to Net Zero will require major scientific, technological and cultural advances but one of the biggest factors will be furnishing the workforce with the skills to deliver the transition. The Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A) and Materials and Manufacturing Education Training and Learning (METaL) project at Swansea University have already been taking steps to upskill/reskill individuals to deliver decarbonisation through postgraduate research and work-based learning. Collaboration between the two projects has presented a clear progression in skills from initial engagement at level 4 up to doctoral level qualifications. The research and training offered delivers technical solutions and highly skilled individuals who go into industry to lead the transition.

Upskilling continues to be provided through a range of modules from the WEFO funded METaL Project which is committed to supporting businesses in Wales meet their environmental goals and move towards net zero. These modules are available to businesses across Wales, including the Cardiff Capital Region, and are currently free of charge.

Find out more about the Materials for Energy training module.

The Introduction to Circular Economy module is designed to explain key concepts and underlying philosophy of CE, its benefits for industry, and practical ideas for businesses to implement these concepts into their operations.

Find out more about the Circular Economy training module.

The Environmental Impact & Sustainability module is for anyone keen to learn more about environmental legislation, the impacts of environmental taxation and how to obtain environmental permits.

Find out more about the Environmental Impact and Sustainability training module.

Introduction to Electric Vehicles is launching imminently and as the name suggests will focus on alternatives to traditional fossil fuelled transportation. The principles of combustion engines and their greenhouse gas emissions will be detailed as well as the latest advancements towards carbon-neutral motor vehicles.


Find out more about the Introduction to Electric Vehicles training module.

Industry plays a significant role in reducing our carbon footprint with a major challenge being that of decarbonising the steel industry. A green steelmaking module has been developed and outlines the opportunities the transition poses.

Find out more about the Green Steelmaking module.

Manufacturing will be fundamental in achieving the infrastructure developments required and will be presented with the challenge of recruiting skilled individuals as well as developing new materials and processes for such things as the Hydrogen Economy. Even traditional manufacturing techniques such as welding will require a new focus due to the increased risk of failure in these environments. Fundamental understanding of the process continues to be delivered via the metal arc welding module.

Find out more about the Arc Welding module.

No previous experience is required to enrol onto these courses; they are accredited by Swansea University and on successful completion students receive a certificate and 10 university credits.

Despite this initial offering, the development of ‘green skills’ has only just started, and the delivery of skills will require a collaborative effort of schools engagement through to Further Education and Higher Education provision. Following the success of the initial work, a proposal is now being developed to expand the offering to deliver ‘SWITCH-On Skills’: a multi-level skills escalator to deliver the requirements of Net Zero.

In addition to developing courses, METaL’s YouTube channel is regularly updated with new content, much of which focuses on net zero and environmental issues.

Subscribe to the METaL YouTube chanel.

For more information visit the project websites