Skills for the green economy

This project explores employment effects, skill requirements and policy implications of the transition towards a greener economy. The main aims are to investigate the expected impact of environmental and climate change policies on future skills demand within and across sectors, and to provide insights for effective training and education policies.

Environmental change is an increasingly important driver of labour demand and skills supply across all sectors. Therefore, the positive impacts of the transition to a greener economy can be maximised only by developing the skills, knowledge and competences required by resource-efficient processes and technologies; and integrating these into our businesses and communities. To this end, Cedefop investigates the expected impact of environmental and climate change policies on future skills demand within and across sectors, and provides insights for effective training and education policies.

Further, we pinpoint specific economic activities and occupational profiles to identify where existing competences are being enhanced; additional or new competences are emerging; and old competences are becoming obsolete as a result of the greening of the European economy. Anticipating and analysing evolving skill needs informs education, training and employment policies, and enables a better matching between labour supply and demand. By comparing experiences and strategic responses across countries, Cedefop provides stakeholders and social partners with examples of good practice to shape the way in which education and training systems are adjusted, upgraded and/or refocused and to ensure workers are suitably equipped with the right skills.

Other Green skills activities

Sustainable energy

A more efficient, conservative use of energy across all sectors and a greater use of renewable energy sources are essential to foster transition to sustainable and secure energy in Europe. Achieving the energy and employment targets provided within Europe 2020 strategy it is however not without challenges. Investigating the expected impact of sustainable energy policies on future skills demand is necessary to inform effective employment, education and training policies in this area.

Green skills

The impact on employment and skill demands of developing a sustainable, green economy is uneven over time, across countries, regions and types of worker and occupation. Consistent regulation, sustained government incentives and the mainstreaming of green economic development across employment and skills policies are important mechanisms to support a smooth transition. Improved provision of guidance on green jobs and forecasting of skill needs are needed to avert bottlenecks and facilitate VET responses.

Green jobs

The move to sustainable development creates an enormous potential for job creation. These jobs are powered by environmental policy, market demands, investment in new technology and innovation. In the future, almost every job will potentially be a “green” job. Considering the significant socio-economic externalities, the case for government support to drive this forward is clear. Understanding the environmental implications of an occupation needs to be mainstreamed into education and training systems.

Green economy

The expansion of the green economy is being accelerated by concerns relating to energy generation, resource use and environmental management. Europe sets the pace in the drive to a low-carbon economy based on renewables to substitute for fossil fuels and energy conservation for efficient energy use. Skills are a critical ingredient in setting coherent education, training, employment and environmental targets.

For all Cedefop publications related to green issues, click here.

Project details

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