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Becoming ‘greener’ will bring about profound changes in technology, design, production, services, consumption and investment that it is impossible to achieve without skilled people.
New Skills Needed
Skills forecasts play a crucial role in facilitating and shaping change and transitions. The reason for that is that they provide evidence-based insight into labour market trends and a range of other societal developments and their implications. Their current use goes far beyond policy domains they traditionally targeted, such as employment and education and training.
Decision-makers in different policy domains (innovation, greening, migration and others) benefit from the future- and change-oriented perspective on the world of work that skills forecasts offer.
Employers and sectors can use predictions to anticipate future skills shortages and develop training programmes and human resources policies to promote skills development and utilisation. Provided results are made accessible and presented in a user-friendly way, forecasts are vital to individuals in making education, training, and career choices.
Employment Will be Boosted Due to Implementing Green Projects
Compared to the latest years, employment growth appears to be more prominent in 2022, slows down in the middle of the decade, and accelerates from 2026 onwards. This is compatible with well-known theories on the life cycle of implementing new technologies.
Employment will initially be boosted due to implementing green projects. This includes renovating buildings, constructing new recycling plants, and shifting factory technology to clean energy-based.
When other technologies reach the implementation stage some years later, their diffusion across sectors creates additional employment. Examples of this can be new recycling facilities or waste-water management systems. Over the forecast period, labour market participation is expected to grow, although gender differences are apparent.
The Need for Active Stakeholders
Governments, employers, regional and local authorities, TVET and other providers, research institutions and other actors are jointly responsible for managing skills ecosystems. They need to share design and policy implementation to make the green transition smooth and inclusive and keep it on track. Different scenarios will not materialise without stable policy commitment and active stakeholder involvement and cooperation.
Encouraging and facilitating up- and reskilling across the board to help people keep up with change should be seen as the core of a viable green and just transition. Providing guidance and support to groups of workers who – to stay economically active – will need to change occupation, sector or geographic location. It will also need a change in how to acquire completely new skill sets is a further, and likely even more challenging, task.
Alongside digitalisation and automation trends, the shift towards greener and more sustainable economies is a game-changer in labour markets. The digital and green transitions are picking up speed for long-term transformative trends spanning several decades. A significant challenge for the coming years is accelerating up- and reskilling so that people have the skills to thrive in more digital and greener jobs. The resulting changes in skill needs will have impacts far beyond the key occupations driving them, affecting all economic sectors.
The text in this article is from “The green employment and skills transformation: insights from a European Green Deal skills forecast scenario”. Cedefop (2021). Luxembourg: Publications Office. http://data.europa.eu/doi/10.2801/112540
Lucubrate Magazine January 2022
The picture on the top of the article: Adobe Stock
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