Green Collar Job-Ready Workforce

Green Collar jobs and the future of the workforce have become hot topics of discussion in our times. With the changing climatic conditions, green-collar jobs seem to have come of age. Many questions are coming into the picture, like whether combating climate change would help companies switch to more sustainable ways of working and if more sustainable jobs will emerge and flourish.

What is a Green Collar Job?

A ‘Green Collar Job’ or simply a ‘Green Job’ is employment in any industry that contributes to the prevention of the degradation of the environment and promotes sustainable development. These jobs are typically focused on reducing the negative impact of human activities on the environment and promoting long-term sustainable practices.

A few of the profiles that come under green jobs are Sustainability Manager, Wind Turbine Technician, Solar Consultant Ecologist, Recycling worker, Farm manager, Sourcing Specialist, Land surveyor, Ecologist, Waste manager, Solar installer, Geotechnical engineer, Energy consultant, Environmental engineer, Civil supervisor,  Sustainability engineer, Solar consultant etc.

Green-collar jobs are often seen as a way to address both economic and environmental challenges, as they can provide employment opportunities while helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other negative environmental impacts.

Impact of climate change on Employment trends?

Climate change has impacted the workforce for a long time, and the rise of green jobs is one of climate change’s positive impacts. As the world transitions towards a low-carbon economy, there will be increasing demand for workers with skills in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable agriculture.

According to the report by ILO, as carbon- and resource-intensive industries are scaled back during the transition to a green economy, some jobs will be lost, but new jobs will make up for more than the loss. For example, changes to how energy is generated and utilised will lead to the loss of about 6 million jobs and the creation of about 24 million jobs. About 18 million additional jobs will be created worldwide due to sustainable practices, such as changing the way energy is used, making electric cars more popular, and making buildings more energy efficient.

One major factor driving the growth of green jobs is the increasing demand for renewable energy sources. As countries strive to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and curb greenhouse gas emissions, there is a growing need for professionals in the solar, wind, geothermal, and hydroelectric sectors. These jobs involve designing, installing, operating, and maintaining renewable energy systems, making them critical in the fight against climate change.

Reskill existing or hire new?

The green economy will require new labour market skills, profiles, qualifications, and training. Companies will need to prepare their workforce for the upcoming sustainable changes. But the big question arises whether to reskill the existing workforce or to hire new people for the emerging green economy.

Both reskilling existing workers and hiring new talent can be effective strategies for filling the growing demand for green jobs. The best approach will depend on each organisation’s specific needs and circumstances. Reskilling the existing workforce has several advantages, including cost-effectiveness, fostering loyalty etc.

Hiring new talent, on the other hand, can bring new perspectives, skills, and ideas to an organisation. Hiring new talent can also assist organisations in diversifying their workforce and gaining access to a larger talent pool. Furthermore, new talent can bring skills that the organisation needs to acquire, such as experience in a specific area of renewable energy technology or environmental policy.

Initiatives taken by Indian Government to upskill the workforce

The Indian government has taken several initiatives to upskill the workforce for Green Collar jobs. Here are some of the key initiatives:

  • National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC): The NSDC is a public-private partnership promoting youth green jobs by developing skills in various sectors, including renewable energy and sustainable agriculture. NSDC develops and implements skill development programs to promote green jobs in India by leveraging the expertise of training providers, industry associations, and other stakeholders.
  • National Action Plan for Climate Change: The Indian government’s National Action Plan for Climate Change focuses on creating a skilled workforce for the green economy. The plan includes initiatives such as the Green Skill Development Program, which provides training in solar energy, sustainable agriculture, and waste management.
  • National Solar Mission: The National Solar Mission aims to promote the use of solar energy in India and create job opportunities in the solar energy sector. The mission includes initiatives such as the Surya Mitra program, which provides training for solar photovoltaic technicians.
  • National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture: The National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture focuses on building the skills of farmers and agricultural workers in sustainable farming practices.

Conclusion

Green-collar jobs are becoming increasingly important as the world addresses climate change and seeks sustainable solutions. The demand for skilled workers in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable agriculture is growing. Building a job-ready workforce for the green economy is critical and requires collaboration and investment in skills development across the board. Organisations can choose either to reskill their existing workforce or hire new talent for the green economy, with each approach having its advantages, but action and momentum are imperative to keep in step with the future that is already here.

Author

Sumit Sarabhai

Business Head
TeamLease Services Limited

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