Demand for so called green collar staff is expected to grow over the next 12 months as companies look to improve their environmental credentials, new research shows.

According to a survey conducted by the engineering consultancy Royal Haskoning, over half of UK businesses believe they will need to offer more environmental services in the future.

Over 30 per cent said they will need to expand their staffing levels by between six and ten per cent as the need to create new roles for workers with environmental responsibilities increases.

"As the pressure mounts for British businesses to implement green strategies and services, the worry remains whether our current and future domestic skills market can service these demands," said Royal Haskoning board member Henry Rowe.

The publication of the research came after business secretary John Hutton said the government wanted to create the right business conditions to support "hundreds of thousands" of green collar jobs.