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Green skills: why you should improve yours

December 11, 2023

A report recently released by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) forecasts: the actions we take over the next decade will determine whether or not our planet is livable for generations to come. In this context, there is a growing demand in the corporate world for so-called ‘green skills’, which comprise the knowledge and skills necessary for a job to be carried out with environmental and social responsibility.

“Green skills are the building blocks of the green transition and the key to unlocking the human capital that will power it,” LinkedIn states. The company has looked into the issue in annual studies, and the latest report found that job postings requiring at least one green skill have grown by a median of 15.2% between February 2022 and February 2023, even though overall hiring slowed globally. On the other hand, only one in eight workers has one or more green skills. Put another way, seven in eight workers lack even a single green skill. 

To help workers and employers familiarize themselves with the topic, the report provides a glossary:

  • Green skills: are those that enable the environmental sustainability of economic activities.
  • Green jobs: are those that cannot be performed without extensive knowledge of green skills.
  • Greening jobs: can be performed without green skills, but typically require some green skills.
  • Greening potential jobs: can be performed without green skills, but occasionally require some level of green skills.
  • Non-green jobs: are those that do not require green skills to be performed
  • Green talent: a professional who has explicitly added green skills to their profile/CV and/or is working in a green or greening job.

The study also shows that in 81% of transitions into green jobs workers already have green skills or prior green job experience. Certain green jobs are more likely to be available to workers without prior green job experience. These include relatively new and quickly growing roles like sustainability manager and energy auditor. Besides, the skills profile for the average job changed 24% between 2015 and 2022 — and green skills are increasingly among the newly added skill requirements.

“World leaders are increasingly vocal about the urgent imperative to halt climate change. But so far, ambitious goals and proclamations have not translated into a bounteous array of concrete policies and programs that equip workers with the green skills needed to drive this transformation,” the authors conclude. “Workers in every sector of the economy and at every level of their organizations — from executive-level chief sustainability officers to gas station attendants — need and deserve to be part of the solution.”

Source: Global Green Skills Report 2023