The government has recently published a research briefing on ‘Green skills for education and employment’, in which it defines green skills as “the knowledge, abilities, values and attitudes needed to live in, develop and support a society which reduces the impact of human activity on the environment”.  

View the research briefing.  

Attention to this issue is vital, and the Landscape Institute’s (LI) Skills for Greener Places Report highlights the scale of the problem our country faces to meet the demand for green skills, generated by the unprecedented challenges in climate, energy, housing, and nature recovery. 

While the government’s research into the issue is welcomed, the Landscape Institute is extremely concerned with recent immigration policy decisions which we see as exacerbating the skills shortage. This includes the Migration Advisory Committee’s Review of the Shortage Occupation List, and a concurrent move to increase the minimum earnings threshold for Skilled Worker visas from £26,200 to £38,700.  

As a skill very much in demand, there is no question that landscape professionals should remain classified as an essential profession. Any other development will block vital expertise, thwarting business enterprise and limiting opportunities for sustainable growth.   

We note with empathy our members’ concern at these developments. We also note that contributors to the government research “suggest that international talent attraction may be restricted by UK immigration rules.” 

Landscape practitioners have the unique combination of expertise and skills required both nationally and internationally to design and implement the integrated, nature-based solutions needed to combat emergencies in climate, biodiversity, and public health. As part of our Climate and Biodiversity Action Plan, the Landscape Institute is committed to relaying the concerns of our members to government at every opportunity, and advocating the vital part they must play.  

  • Through our engagement with government bodies such as Natural England, we will continue to reiterate the issue of green skills, and the role of landscape practitioners. 
  • Working in partnership with member bodies and organisations across the built and natural environment, the LI will continue building allegiances on issues around green skills and develop a critical mass of voices.  
  • Our recent joint-letter to Environment Secretary Steve Barclay MP, made alongside 13 other organisations part of the Environmental Policy Forum, listed investment in green skills as our number one demand.   
  • Our President-Elect Carolin Göhler recently raised the issue of the importance of quality green space design in neighbourhoods with Housing Minister Lee Rowley. 
  • Building on our Skills for Greener Places Report, the LI will be conducting more skills surveys, to better understand the issue, develop our evidence base and effective solutions. 


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