Green Careers – occupations and sectors with green economy relevance


On behalf of the German Environment Agency (UBA) and the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW) and the Institute of Economic Structures Research (GWS) are investigating the central question of whether the "right" workers can be recruited on the German labor market for a transition to a Green Economy, and whether these workers are also available in sufficient numbers. Therefore, the labor market is examined, and the focus is placed on occupations that are sought by companies on the one hand and that perform tasks that contribute to the implementation of the transition to a Green Economy on the other. It becomes apparent that the inclusion of detailed labor market situations and developments in the planning and implementation of environmental policy measures is desirable, since

  • … specific professions are needed in specific industries.
  • ... shortages are occurring or can be expected for these professions today and tomorrow.
  • ... obstacles to the implementation of environmental policy projects cannot be ruled out.
  • ... "occupational flexibility" helps to concretize labor policy starting points.
  • ... spatial disparities can alleviate or aggravate shortages.

In summary, it can be stated that skilled workers shortages affect the implementation of environmental policy goals. Adequately qualified staff for the individual expansion plans and transformation paths will only be available in sufficient numbers if the current developments on the labor market and forecasts of shortages in occupations as well as job flexibilities are considered. The path to a Green Economy cannot be detached from the labor market context. The methods used range from text analysis of more than one million job advertisements using machine learning, to the evaluation of surveys and other databases, to the use of model calculations to create projections and scenarios.

The study has just been published and can be downloaded here.

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