Electricians are still not at the brink yet of the catastrophic effects of climate change, according to the chief executive of one of Britain’s biggest engineering firms.
Electricians have also been left struggling to understand how to cope with rising sea levels, and more extreme weather events, as the economy suffers from the effects of globalisation and a decline in energy demand, Peter Woodcock said.
“We’re going to have to cope and adapt,” he said in a BBC interview on Sunday.
“That’s what this is about, is how do we keep going.”
We’re in this position where we’re trying to build new, modern and innovative systems for the future, and we’re still trying to figure out how we are going to do that, how do people deal with these new systems.
“So we’re not there yet.”
The chief executive’s comments follow a survey by the Royal Society of Engineering which found that only 20% of the workforce had a realistic view of the impact of climate-change on their profession, with a further 25% not confident that their organisation would survive.
The survey also found that half of the UK’s electrical engineers were not prepared to undertake the job at a time when the national economy was facing a downturn, and the number of people who said they would not consider joining the industry had dropped from 2,000 in the spring to fewer than 1,000 now.
“If we don’t adapt we’re going, and I believe that the business and people of the future will have to,” Woodcock told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“And so what we’re looking at now is, how can we make sure we have a sustainable business and business plan?”
And the answer is that the UK needs to build up our industry and our skills, and that’s going to require a lot more people.
“Woodcock also said that the government needed to tackle the problem of waste management and environmental protection.
The RSEE survey also revealed that more than half of British employers were planning to close or reduce the number or size of the organisation, and almost all said that environmental protection was their biggest concern.