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Greener Skills and Jobs

image of Greener Skills and Jobs

Green skills, that is, skills needed in a low-carbon economy, will be required in all sectors and at all levels in the workforce as emerging economic activities create new (or renewed) occupations. Structural changes will realign sectors that are likely to decline as a result of the greening of the economy and workers will need to be retrained accordingly. The successful transition to a low-carbon economy will only be possible if workers can flexibly adapt and transfer from areas of decreasing employment to new industries. This report suggests that the role of skills and education and training policies should be an important component of the ecological transformation process.

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Executive summary

The OECD-CEDEFOP Green Skills Forum, initiated in 2012, discusses what green jobs and green skills are and what the implications for low-carbon economies are if not enough of either are created by our economies. Labour market impacts of the transition from high- to low-carbon production will affect all workers. However, while changes may be minor for the majority, they may be substantial for a small number of industries and professions. The Forum discussions have already shown that the skills and training needs are threefold: i) upgrade skill sets in industries experiencing only minor adjustments; ii) gearing up educational institutions and firms to provide the new skills for new occupations and sectors that will emerge from the green economy; and iii) retraining and realigning skills in sectors that will decline as a result.

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