A survey conducted by Trade Union Prospect has revealed a major setback to the UK’s net zero agenda, which has been slated to be achieved by 2050. The survey sampled views from over five hundred workers within the environmental sector.
The survey revealed that, the persistent shortfalls in expertized staffs in recent years have played a major part in their failures to meet work demands.
According to the study, there have been a substantial decrease in qualified experts to carry out specific task, which has increased the workload that must be completed with immediate effect.
The survey also permitted for other comments relating to the subject matter. One worker responded that “I really like the people I work with and the value of the work I do.”
According to other respondents, the qualification and efforts they put to work do not match the wages offered to them.
“I could be paid four times as much for my skills in a different industry. One that is bad or indifferent to the environment. We can’t solve environmental problems or net zero unless we have people to do the work.”Survey Respondents.
Other respondents placed much emphasis on the decline in experts, which has forced underqualified staff members to be assigned to do critical duties meant for specialists.
Also, the research stated that, the environmental industry always demand for specialized and highly qualified personnel, but a major obstacle to recruiting such people has to do with low compensations.
Despite the specialized nature of many professions and the fact that 20% of survey participants hold a PhD or other comparable qualifications, 38% of respondents say their annual salary is £30,000 or less.
According to respondents, they felt “underpaid, undervalued, understaffed, overworked.” Others stated that, they “work in a role which is crucial to the organization yet receive one of the lowest salaries. We have to do regular overtime every month to survive and as a result, have poor work/life balance. It affects our mental and physical health.”
Effect Of Low Wages On Women In The Industry
On the other hand, the survey also revealed that, women in the industry have been affected massively due to low wages offered to them.
The study points to the fact that, the median salary given to women, is in the rang of 25,000 to 30,000 pounds annually, compared to the 30,000 t0 35,000 pounds offered to male workers.
A respondent stated that, an industry where “program managers are valued more highly than international experts,” and the “lack of reward for expertise gained over time,” have demoralized the working spirit within the industry.
Moreover, it stated that, nearly half of women in the industry said they have little room for their career advancement, due to how the establishment has been positioned.
The survey revealed that, 37% identified government regulations as the main barrier to protecting the environment and reaching net zero carbon emissions. “We are being eroded and demoralized over time by the lack of ambition in the government to actually support us,” respondent claimed.
Others described their workplace as “supportive and inclusive.” On the contrary, they concluded that, the major problems have to do with lack of qualified human resources and insufficient financing.
“Abundantly clear that underfunding and understaffing limit the extent of the impact that we can have on actually making concrete progress on conservation and restoration of nature. The great work that’s been done so far with such limited resources is a testament to the dedication and passion of long-term employees who contribute so much to creating a positive workplace culture.”Survey Respondents.