October 26, 2023

CICA joins the call for Careers for Net Zero


The necessity of government action to support Australia’s workforce development and emissions reduction goals in a joint statement released on October 26, 2023.

The goals are to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and a reduction of 43% in emissions by 2030.

This initiative, called “Careers for Net Zero,” is supported by a coalition of industry and professional associations, educational institutions, local governments, and non-government organisations. The key objectives and recommendations highlighted in the statement are as follows:

Growing the Clean Economy Workforce: The statement underscores the importance of developing an appropriately sized and skilled clean economy workforce. This workforce is vital for enabling a swift transition to an equitable, prosperous, and net-zero emissions economy. It is necessary to prepare and train individuals for the jobs that will be crucial in achieving these goals.

Empowering Individuals to Make a Difference: The initiative aims to empower a wide range of individuals, including students, graduates, and experienced workers, to find their roles within Australia’s clean economy. This means providing opportunities and guidance for people to contribute to the country’s emissions reduction efforts.

Moving from Ambition to Action: The statement encourages government and industry collaboration to develop and implement a comprehensive workforce development strategy for the clean economy. This strategy should be supported by education and training systems capable of scaling up rapidly to meet the net-zero emissions target.

The joint statement also highlights the alignment of Careers for Net Zero with findings from the Australian Government’s Working Future white paper and The Clean Energy Generation report, emphasising the need for ambitious workforce and skills policies to match ambitious net-zero targets.

Specific actions and recommendations made in the statement include:

Baseline Employment Figures: Requesting the government to determine baseline employment figures for the clean economy. This includes creating an Australian Energy Employment Report with periodic updates covering energy management work across the entire economy.

National Energy Workforce Strategy: The government must develop a National Energy Workforce Strategy that supports a broader clean economy workforce based on the Clean Energy Generation report’s definition of clean energy. This definition includes various sectors related to clean energy supply, demand, enabling technologies, carbon lifecycle, emissions-intensive industries, and transitioning sectors.

Implementation Plan: Encouraging the government to quickly fund and implement an implementation plan alongside the National Energy Workforce Strategy. This plan should outline a clear pathway to bridge the gap between the existing clean economy workforce and the numbers required to achieve the 2030 and 2050 emissions reduction targets.

The joint statement emphasises the readiness of industry, educational institutions, and civil society organisations to collaborate with the government to create a skilled, safe, resilient, clean economy workforce. The urgency of this collaboration is emphasised, as it is crucial to start working on these goals immediately to ensure that Australia can meet its emissions reduction targets.

Read the joint statement here