green jobs dominate hiring but serious green skills shortage adds complications
Green jobs have been seeing a steady increase in demand lately. Experts expect the spike in employment to counterbalance job losses in the fossil fuel sector, but they have also highlighted the pressing need for people to develop green skills.
LinkedIn, a business and employment-focused social media platform, recently documented in a report a 22.4% increase in jobs requiring at least one green skill between 2022 and 2023, amid the workforce showing just a 12.3% increase in green talent.
Between 2018 and 2023, the proportion of jobs demanding at least one “green skill” increased by 9.2%. This rise in demand came even as overall hiring decelerated last year, with job postings requiring at least one green skill growing by more than 15% that year.
Decarbonisation policies could add over 300 million jobs
Speaking to the Financial Times, Sue Duke, head of global public policy at LinkedIn, highlighted the “consistent, steady increase in demand for green roles” seen in the past few years. Last year, most sectors saw hiring being pulled back, but the green sector marked an opposite trend.
Several factors drive the rising demand, including clean energy investment and increased pressure on companies to focus on environmental outcomes. One of the Big Four accounting forms, Deloitte suggests this trend is likely to continue.
In 2023, the firm said the expansion of the renewable energy sector resulted in a 38.5% increase in “green talent”. It projected that strategic decarbonisation policies could generate more than 300 million green collar jobs across the globe by 2050.
People facing many obstacles in acquiring green skills
But so far, the number of people developing the necessary green skills has not kept kept pace with demand. In the EV industry, only 39,000 of the 168,600 technicians in the UK are qualified to maintain the vehicles, despite a 40% increase in sales in 2022.
The concerning trend extends to several other subsectors, too. In some cases, people face obstacles in acquiring green skills. Sometimes, not every company pays its employees to learn on the job. Other times, people are not confident that investing in training will pay off.
Spotty government funding adds to that uncertainty. LinkedIn raised a strong alarm over the current level of green skills penetration, noting that just one in eight workers have green skills, at a time when the future of the planet depends on them.