Green Job Skills
(adapted from What are Green Skills: United Nations Industrial Development Organization)
Simply put, green skills are the knowledge, abilities, values and attitudes needed to live in, develop and support a sustainable and resource-efficient society.
The transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient economy requires systemic changes that will result not only in new products and services but also in changes in production processes and business models.
This greening of the economy will inevitably change the skills required and the tasks involved in many of the existing occupations.
The Green General Skill index identifies four groups of work tasks that are especially important for green occupations:
- Engineering and technical skills: hard skills encompassing competences involved with the design, construction and assessment of technology usually mastered by engineers and technicians. This know-how is needed for eco-buildings, renewable energy design and energy-saving research and development (R&D) projects.
- Science skills: competences stemming from bodies of knowledge broad in scope and essential to innovation activities, for example physics and biology. These skills are especially in high demand in each stage of value chains and in the utility sector, which provides basic amenities such as water, sewage services and electricity.
- Operation management skills: know-how related to change in organizational structure required to support green activities and an integrated view of the firm through life-cycle management, lean production and cooperation with external actors, including customers. Such skills are important, for example, for sales engineers, climate change analysts, sustainability specialists, chief sustainability officers and transportation planners.
- Monitoring skills: technical and legal aspects of business activities that are fundamentally different way from the remit of engineering or of science. They refer to skills required to assess the observance of technical criteria and legal standards. Examples are environmental compliance inspectors, nuclear monitoring technicians, emergency management directors and legal assistants.
In addition to these skills, a range of soft skills are also considered to be increasingly important, not only for green skills, but generally for “skills of the future”, including also those necessary for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In particular, skills related to design thinking, creativity, adaptability, resilience, and even empathy, are regarded as critical.
The "Great Reshuffle" to Greener Jobs and Economy