2012 Review of Skills Needs in the Environment Sector

NERC has now published 'Most Wanted II - Postgraduate and Professional Skills Needs in the Environment Sector', a refreshed and updated report that identifies essential environmental science skills that are in short supply.

Both the first report (2010) and the second refreshed report (2012), are based on information provided directly by the environmental sciences sector about the skills gaps that exist in the UK workforce.

The results of the refresh exercise show that the skills gaps identified in the first report still persist. These include areas such as computer modelling, multi-disciplinary working, data management, numeracy, and skills in translating research into practice.

Professor Duncan Wingham, NERC chief executive, said:

In today's knowledge-based economy, economic success relies on the availability of a highly skilled workforce. In particular, the future prosperity of the UK environmental sciences sector depends on a healthy supply of people with the right skills to tackle the diverse and dynamic challenges we face. This skills review highlights specialist and transferable skills that are urgently needed to build a strong, vibrant economy.

The 'Most Wanted II' document details the 15 most critical skills gaps. It is designed to help guide students when making career choices, and to highlight priority areas for investment.

As well as the 'Most Wanted II' report, we have also published a 'Skills Framework' which gives more details on the identified skills gaps, as we did with the first skills review. Many of the 83 skills identified have areas of overlap and so we have created a redacted and condensed version ('Short Form Skills Framework'), which groups the skills gaps into 30 priority skills areas for easier reference. These can be downloaded using the links below.

The Most Wanted reports form an important resource to help the UK to develop and apply new technologies, respond to the impacts of climate change and extreme weather, and improve our knowledge and understanding of environmental issues.

Review outputs

The Summary Report

'Most Wanted II' report.

'Most Wanted II' summary report (PDF, 11MB)

The Skills Framework

Summary document for all 83 of the postgraduate and professional skills needs for the environment sector.

Skills Framework (PDF, 535KB)

The Skills Framework: Short Form version

Condensed summary of the Skills Framework, collating the skills gaps into 30 priority areas.

Short Form Skills Framework (PDF, 196KB)

Most Wanted II poster

The Most Wanted II poster listing the top 15 most wanted skills.

Most Wanted II poster (PDF, 191KB)