Wanted: Employees with green skills

Strong demand for green talent could set off shortage, report warns

Wanted: Employees with green skills

Seven in 10 employers across the world are recruiting or planning to hire green talent, which a new report warned could potentially set off a shortage unless employers upskill their own staff.

New research from the ManpowerGroup revealed that the green business transformation is set to create up to 30 million new jobs.

In fact, 70% of employers said they are currently or actively planning to recruit green talent, with the Energy and Utilities sector leading this demand (81%). According to the report, green talent is mostly sought for the following roles:

  • Manufacturing and Production (36%)
  • Operations and Logistics (31%)
  • Information Technology (30%)

Ongoing talent scarcity for green jobs

The report, however, pointed out that the ongoing green transition is happening at a time of growing talent scarcity.

Three-quarters of employers in the report said they are already struggling to find skilled talent that they need, while 94% said they do not have skilled talent to achieve their Environmental, Social, and Governance goals.

The gap in skilled individuals gets worse for employers searching for green talent - as only one in eight of ManpowerGroup's respondents said they have a green skill.

The United Nations said green skills refer to the "knowledge, abilities, values, and attitudes needed to live in, develop, and support a sustainable and resource-efficient society."

The challenge of finding qualified candidates with these skills then becomes the biggest barrier (44%) for employers in executing their green transitions, according to the report. Other barriers include:

  • Creating effective reskilling programs (39%)
  • Identifying transferrable skills (36%)

Riccardo Barberis, ManpowerGroup Northern Europe Region president, said it is critical to "bring people along on the journey" of sustainability.

"Investments in green technology will only get us halfway if employers fail to properly skill and reskill workers to operate in a greener future. Prioritizing workforce development must be a core pillar of net-zero strategies," Barberis said in a statement.

Green employers attract job candidates

The need for organizations to go green comes amid stronger calls from authorities around the world to address climate change.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres previously pointed out that employees are "collapsing in scorching heat" as the world enters the era of "global boiling."

The pressure to address climate change is also coming from the workforce, as younger employees are more likely to join organizations taking steps to be more sustainable.

Three-quarters of Gen Z employees in the ManpowerGroup survey said they research on a prospective employer's green reputation, with 46% saying it will impact their likelihood of choosing an employer.

Tara Ataya, chief diversity and people officer at Hootsuite, previously said there will be a growing expectation for companies to set their targets in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

"Investors, customers, and employees will continue to scrutinize these targets to ensure that they are meaningful and impactful, and companies that can demonstrate progress towards their targets will be well-positioned to attract investment and customers who value sustainability," Ataya told HRD.

The ManpowerGroup's latest research, titled "Building Competitive Advantage with A People-First Green Business Transformation," surveyed nearly 39,000 employers and over 5,000 workers worldwide.

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