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Green jobs represent over 30% of UK Job Postings

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The LinkedIn Global Green Skills Report 2023 suggests that green jobs make up 30% of UK job postings, but only one in eight workers worldwide have one or more green skills. 

According to the report, the rise in demand for green skills exceeds the number of professionals available with the relevant skills. In the last year, the proportion of green talent increased by over 12%, but the share of job postings requiring more than one green skill rose by over 22%. Green job postings worldwide increased nearly twice as fast as the proportion of green talent between 2022 and 2023. The LinkedIn study shows that 81% of professionals moving into green jobs have relevant experience or skills, such as climate action planning, corporate sustainability and sustainable procurement. 

The accelerated demand for green skills is highlighted further by the median LinkedIn hiring rate for people, with at least one green skill being 29% higher than the workforce average. While global hiring rates have slowed, green job postings have increased by over 15%. Three of the top fastest-growing job roles over the last few years on LinkedIn were green industry positions, including sustainability analyst, sustainability specialist and sustainability manager.

Some of the core industries for green talent across Europe are construction, utilities, oil and gas and mining. LinkedIn emphasised a notable increase in tech and finance professionals acquiring additional green skills. The report also showed that one in seven employees in France and one in six in Germany have green skills, despite green jobs representing only 20% and 17% of total job postings. 

Sue Duke, VP, Head of Global Public Policy and Economic Graph at LinkedIn, explains that climate actions need a transformation of the global labour market, referring to the types of jobs and the skills people require. Duke emphasises that it’s not just a case of creating additional green opportunities and waiting for people to fill them. Without the necessary skills, these new jobs will be challenging for people to pursue. We must make it as simple as possible for people to make the transition, and that requires collective action from policymakers, businesses and educational organisations. Targeted and comprehensive reskilling plans and practical job training are vital to delivering a global workforce with the necessary skills to tackle the climate challenge.

Facilitating this rising demand for talent is critical. For example, the North Sea region is becoming home to the world’s largest energy power facility. The plans intend to double offshore wind capacity by 2050, powering green hydrogen, with new cables connecting the UK and the rest of Europe. There are warnings, however, from over 100 businesses that Europe can’t achieve these commitments without necessary plans and action. According to Wind Europe, one of the main barriers is the lack of skilled professionals. 

The organisation explains that governments must create the skill base to facilitate the planned expansion of these facilities. Concerns from companies highlight one of the biggest threats to the green transition. On one side, the fear of job losses means government are hesitant to move people away from old industries. On the other side, considerable skills and labour shortages could hinder the development of new sectors and slow down vital climate-beneficial activities.

The true scale of the challenge is dependent on what constitutes a green job. Some research considers jobs directly impacting the net zero transition, such as renewables or low carbon research, representing less than 5% of employment in developed economies. Others take a broader approach, considering occupations related to green-related activities, like solar PV installers. They also include general job occupations, such as architects applying more energy-efficient design styles to their portfolios. Based on this concept of green jobs means the figure rises closer to 20% of total employment in developed economies.

Additional training is critical to enable further progress in the green industry and support the predicted surge of new green opportunities. Markus Janser, senior researcher at Germany’s Institute for Employment Research, explains that all national courses now incorporate a sustainability theme. Janser highlights, however, that the net zero transition cannot wait for young people to enter the labour market and stresses that governments must create incentives for businesses to invest in new technologies. Janser explains that we can eliminate concerns of talent shortages if these jobs are attractive in terms of salaries and working conditions and if people are motivated to move into these jobs.

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