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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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Green skills for a low-carbon future

This chapter defines the key concepts that are central to this volume: what are green jobs and green skills and what are the implications for low-carbon economies if there is not enough of either. Labour market impacts from the transition from high- to low-carbon intense production will affect all workers. However, changes will be minor for the majority, but substantial for a small number of industries and professions. The skills and training implications are threefold: i) upgrade skills 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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