Close Menu Icon
Net Zero Hub
Climate Resilience Hub

How to address the ESG skills gap in the UK’s Financial Sector

February 9, 2024
How to address the ESG skills gap in the UK’s Financial Sector

The finance world is changing fast, and companies need to go green to stay ahead. As everyone tries to meet net-zero targets, a plethora of jobs are opening in “green finance.” But there’s a big issue in the UK: not enough people have the skills needed for these new jobs. This gap between what companies need and what C-suite executives can offer is getting wider and wider.


How to address the ESG skills gap in the UK’s Financial Sector

Green Jobs on the Rise, But Skills Fall Short

A recent report released by PwC in association with the Financial Services Skills Commission and the Aldersgate Group clarifies this crucial issue.

Surprisingly, the percentage of green job openings in the financial sector increased from 0.26% to 2.2% between 2019 and 2023, reaching 16,700 in 2023, highlighting the need for ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) knowledge and skill enhancement. Notably, a surprising 90% of businesses admit that they lack ESG understanding on how to embed sustainability strategy into the core of their organization.

Furthermore, PwC UK’s head of regions Carl Sizer emphasizes the need of upskilling to satisfy the demand for green jobs and accomplish aggressive net-zero ambitions. Additionally, it offers a chance to develop a workforce that is both economically stable and environmentally aware. The emergence of new positions like climate strategists and analysts of sustainable investments, as well as the incorporation of ESG factors into already-existing positions like portfolio management in asset management companies, are the main drivers of the increase in green job opportunities.


Green Finance Disparities and Regulatory Shifts

In the UK, there are still large geographical differences despite the increase in demand. Even London and Edinburg are at the forefront of green financing, there are some other places, like Northern Ireland, are trailing behind. This disparity emphasizes the necessity of coordinated national initiatives to overcome the green skills gap.

Furthermore, a big impact is anticipated from impending regulation reforms like the Sustainability Disclosure Requirements (SDR). In the coming months and years, the ESG landscape may change because of these policies, which seek to improve transparency and reduce conflicts of interest. Thus, even though the field of ESG has bright futures, financial institutions must be able to overcome obstacles and adjust to changing regulatory environments to take advantage of chances for long-term success.


Promote financial sustainability for achieving Net Zero empowerment

Generally, the financial sector is crucial to achieving Net Zero targets in the UK and globally. In addition to controlling risks through underwriting and insurance, it may make significant contributions by giving low-cost capital for innovative technologies, transition financing for carbon-intensive firms, and eco-friendly product support for individuals in their sustainability endeavors. Even while the government has acknowledged the financial sector’s significance through programs like the 2019 Green Finance Strategy, the industry occasionally ignores the sector’s crucial role.

The UK will need hundreds of thousands more people working in sustainable jobs by 2030 and the most significant shortage is detected also in key sectors, from renewable energy to sustainable waste management.

University graduates well versed in theory, need practical certification, regardless the discipline they’ve pursued.  These graduates are taking CSE courses.  Why?  Training based on practice can disclose details few schools will cover.  Did you know the GRI sector disclosure which applies to universities (but only the non-profits) is the NGO disclosure?  If that last sentence is gobbledygook, then you need a training focused on practice!


Reality check

Achieving corporate financially sustainable and climate-resilient outcomes necessitates the education of all board and C-suite executive members, as well as the engagement of staff across the organization. A truly successful corporate sustainability journey unfolds when leaders and individuals embrace sustainability, seamlessly integrating it into business models and operations.

The Center for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE) is bound to help large corporations and SMEs in this mission and genuinely guide them towards making a positive impact on the world. CSE is proud to be leading the Sustainability transformation of companies and organizations around the world, through specialized Certified Training Programs, Sustainability Academy online courses, and sector-specific in-house trainings, Integrated Consulting Services.

With its commitment to high caliber training for C-suite executives worldwide in mind, CSE is preparing for the Leadership Version of the Digital Certified Sustainability ESG Practitioner Program, on April 11, 12 & 15, 2024, especially addressed to European companies with an ESG mindset.

Reach at [email protected] for early bird and group discounts.

To book an in-house training program contact [email protected]


Organizations that trust us