Although the demand for executives with sustainability skills has increased, the global green jobs crunch has worsened in recent years as the supply has continued to fall short, according to a LinkedIn report.
The executive networking platform recently published its latest Green Skills Report, confirming that sustainability professionals worldwide are more in demand than ever before.
The report, based on recruitment data from across the tech giant’s global platform, found the share of jobs requiring green skills has risen from 9.6% in 2015 to 13.3% in 2021, as hiring rates for green jobs have continued to accelerate alongside the adoption of corporate net zero strategies and rapid growth across clean tech markets.
The increasing growth rate across the sustainability sector is particularly impressive when framed against the backdrop of a global economic slowdown and market uncertainty, which has seen overall hiring rates slow, according to LinkedIn.
However, while the number of job postings requiring at least one green skill has climbed 8% worldwide since 2015, the talent pool able to meet those requirements only grew by 6%.
In light of this, the report concludes that while there has been a 40% growth in green skills since 2015, progress is “not fast enough” — with only 13% of the workforce possessing the skills needed to support a meaningful green transition.
Sue Duke, LinkedIn’s head of global public policy, warned the shortfall in sustainability skills could jeopardise corporates’ efforts to deliver on their climate goals.
“The sustained growth of green jobs is really great news, particularly for jobseekers who are facing upheaval in the labour market,” she said. “But LinkedIn’s data is clear that while there’s strong demand for talent with green skills, people are not developing green skills at anywhere near a fast enough rate to meet climate targets.
“There is an opportunity for everyone to help turn this around. Governments must champion the green skills agenda and businesses can and must do more to equip their employees with the skills needed to deliver genuine environmental change.”
The report revealed the sectors most likely to advertise for green skills included corporate services, manufacturing, and energy and mining.
Alongside these industries there were many other sectors not considered ‘traditionally green’ also increasingly looking for specialist green skills, according to the report. For example, in the fashion industry the number of roles requiring expertise in “pollution management” has snowballed to 90.6% more prevalent than it was eight years ago.
The report also revealed how government net zero policies are feeding through into job opportunities, noting that “as countries go green, job opportunities emerge.”
The US, UK, and United Arab Emirates come off best in the report, ranking as the top three countries for green skills intensity. However, it also noted that some regions are struggling to translate headline net zero goals into job opportunities. For example, the report warned China in particular is displaying a “worrying trend” of a “shrinking pipeline of greening jobs” with the rate of green hiring declining every year since 2016.
The report warns all governments, policymakers and businesses of the need to ramp up efforts to build out the global green skills base if ambitious net zero goals are to be met.
“Green skills are the core of the green transition and harnessing the shift of talent,” the report states. “Through a targeted approach, we can progressively shift towards these greener jobs. We need more opportunities for those with green skills, we have to upskill workers who currently lack those skills, and we need to ensure green skills are hardwired into the skillset of future generations.”
The report also highlights how executives are increasingly expecting their employers to have ambitious climate strategies in place. It found just over 1 in 4 adults surveyed in Europe cite a company’s sustainability as one of their non-negotiables when evaluating a firm’s culture and values.
LinkedIn said it was aiming to help tackle the green skills gap with the launch of a new Sustainability Resource Hub designed to support companies and jobseekers in developing their sustainability skills.
The importance of green jobs
In order to meet climate targets, like the 2015 Paris Agreement, businesses must continue to promote green jobs aimed at promoting sustainability, reducing carbon emissions, and addressing the challenges of climate change. These jobs support economic growth while ensuring that the environment is protected, which makes them essential in achieving a sustainable future for the planet.
Green jobs also provide opportunities for individuals to engage in meaningful work that is geared towards environmental stewardship. They include roles in fields such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable agriculture, green transportation, and waste reduction, among others.
In addition to contributing to the preservation of the environment, green jobs can also provide economic benefits such as job creation, increased investment in clean technologies, and reduced dependence on fossil fuels. They can also help reduce energy costs, enhance energy security, and improve public health.
Through employing sustainability experts, businesses are best placed to transition towards a more sustainable economy, while simultaneously addressing some of the biggest challenges facing our planet.
A link to the full report can be found here.
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