Coffee Break Workshop on Workforce for Net Zero Project Delivery

The second NICE Coffee Break Workshop (CBW) was held on 19 April 2023 (11:00 – 12:00 UK) over Zoom. Dr Antonios Katris – Research Fellow at the University of Strathclyde’s Centre for Energy Policy – presented on the topic “Ensuring we have the workforce we need for Net Zero project delivery”. The workshop included a discussion by Dr Pauline Anderson (Senior Lecturer at the Work, Employment and Organisation department) and Mark Hughes (Operations Manager at NECCUS).


With a European-wide fixed target of achieving net zero by 2050, a wide range of actions is planned and/or implemented to enable and support accomplishing this goal. However, this introduces a significant challenge. Each proposed net zero action usually requires some level of infrastructure development, or retrofitting and upgrading existing assets such as homes or energy networks. For these projects to be implemented a sufficient supply of workers is necessary, often skilled labour such as qualified heating engineers or offshore pipeline installation experts.

In this workshop, Dr Antonios Katris focused on three examples that can help illustrate the magnitude of the challenge at hand: electrifying residential heating via heat pumps, establishing a transport and storage network for captured CO and improving the energy efficiency of residential properties. His research found that enabling these net zero actions comes with significant labour market impacts, in some occasions exceeding the current size of the relevant labour force.


Antonios Katris has been a member of the Centre for Energy Policy (CEP) since 2015 and is currently a research fellow. His research focus spans across multiple areas of energy policy, currently focusing on the decarbonisation of UK industries and the switch to zero carbon residential heating. He mainly uses computable general equilibrium (CGE) models to study the economy-wide impacts of net zero interventions and policies and identify trade-offs and implications for policy and other stakeholders (academic and non-academic). His body of research work includes areas such as the improvement of energy efficiency in residential properties, the electrification of private transportation, exploring the impacts of offshoring industrial activity, while recently he also worked on a project focussing on the potential impacts of nuclear decommissioning in the Scottish economy. Antonios holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Stirling.

Pauline Anderson is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Knowledge Exchange in the Department of Work, Employment and Organisation at Strathclyde University Business School. Her research expertise lie in the broad area of skills, jobs and working life – with a particular focus on green jobs/skills and skill ecosystems. Recent and current research projects include: Routes to Net Zero: Engineering better geoscience skill ecosystems; The low-paid workforce and transition to net-zero; The skills ecosystem for subsurface net zero technologies and principles for a just transition; and Green jobs in Scotland. Workforce and demand research. She serves on the Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan (CESAP) Implementation Steering Group (having previously served on the CESAP Expert Group, which oversaw the development of the CESAP).

Mark Hughes is Operations Manager at NECCUS, a membership body (‘Alliance’) of companies, government bodies, consultants and academia focused on decarbonising industry and delivering a net zero emissions target by 2045. Its purpose is to promote and champion Industrial Decarbonisation across Scotland on behalf of its members through a co-operative and collaborative business model, and to represent its members as ‘the Voice’ of Industrial Decarbonisation in Scotland at the UK and international levels. Mark is a highly experienced Program Manager with over thirty years of experience in various industries with market-leading organisations. He has a strong background in Manufacturing Engineering, Project Management and Systems Implementation. He has extensive international operations experience within the Oil and Gas industry and previously managed global facilities responsible for Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul of critical oilfield services equipment. He spent over seven years in the UAE with Schlumberger, the world’s largest oilfield services company.


The recording of the presentation can be viewed on the EPRC’s YouTube page here.

Future NICE CBWs will include experts from academia, policy, industry and other organisations, with the aim of sharing knowledge on the just transition.

If you would like to attend future CBWs, email the contact in this post to join our mailing list.


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