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The UK has a shortage of green skills. This shortfall is one of the most important – and most underestimated – barriers to reaching net-zero carbon emissions. We can’t all switch to heat pumps or electric vehicles if we don’t have enough people with the skills to make them work. The lack of green skills also holds back the economy – we know that green jobs are generally more productive and highly paid than other jobs, so there’s a strong case for filling them.

Encouraging more people to train in green skills is a challenge the Behavioural Insight Team and Nesta tried to find solutions for in our latest research.

We ran an online experiment with just over 8,000 people – half of them current or recent students soon to begin their careers, half of them people who are already in the world of work – to understand how likely they’d be to take a green training course under different circumstances. In particular, we tested the impact of different framings – how we described the green training – and financial incentives – offering people different kinds of payment or loan for taking the training.

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