What is meant by the global green skills gap?

employee green skills

The transition to net zero heralds a surge in economic prospects, especially in sectors requiring green skills. Whilst this is excellent news for our economy, we still need people and skills to realise and achieve this aspiration. Business sustainability education plays a pivotal role in bridging this gap, providing the workforce with the knowledge and tools to excel in green jobs. According to the World Economic Forum, the number of green jobs worldwide has grown by around 8 percent annually in the last five years.

However, everyday employees lack the skills to fill these positions. If we are to mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis, we urgently need to address the green skills gap. It is these skills that will drive the transition to a more prosperous, sustainable society. Continuing reading as we dive into how we can potentially address the gap. 

What is the green skills gap?

Green roles are jobs that reduce the environmental impact of enterprises and economic sectors. Achieving our climate ambitions will require an army of employees, across every sector and all areas of business. Put simply, the demand for green roles is outpacing the production of green talent. Positions that require sustainability skills are essential to the green transition. These skills act as building blocks for achieving objectives like promoting the environmental sustainability of economic activities, environmental remediation, and waste prevention. 

This means we need supply managers, product designers, scientists, architects, and many other professionals with the knowledge to recognise unsustainable operational practices. We also need them to be able to find ways to enhance sustainability in their organisations. Employers are on the hunt for people to possess these skills so they can take climate action and have a genuine impact. Some of the fastest-growing green jobs include titles like Ecologist, Compliance Manager, Sustainability Manager, Solar Consultant, and more. 

How do we address the green skills gap?

Green roles require both technical and creative problem-solving skills, which are essential in overcoming the sustainability talent gap present in many organisations. While on-the-job learning is valuable, certain skills demand formal training. There are numerous in-person and online programmes where employees can learn these essential green skills. As sustainability becomes a priority, academic institutions are incorporating it into their curricula more than ever. Additionally, some businesses are looking within to fill this gap, developing their own internal sustainability training programmes to empower employees with the necessary skills.

However, this does require the management team to have a strong understanding of sustainability as well. There are also short courses that are less of a time and cost commitment than degree programmes. These courses can also help those lower-income individuals train for green jobs, which helps to diversify the field further. Our online course in business sustainability offers the practical insights, tools, and expertise you require to introduce sustainability into any business. They are curated by industry experts, and fully flexible, allowing you to learn at your own pace. 

Summary

We desperately need to address the global green skills gap to secure an environmentally sustainable planet. To do this, recruiting and training initiatives must be expanded to make sure workers of all backgrounds have the opportunity to acquire the skills they need to pursue green roles. Companies also need to show a commitment to sustainability and educate all current members of their teams about the importance of protecting the planet. 

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