The Green Skills Agreement defines skills for sustainability as ” Skills for sustainability, also known as green skills, are the technical skills, knowledge, values and attitudes needed in the workforce to develop and support sustainable social, economic and environmental outcomes in business, industry and the community.”
Environmental change is an increasingly important driver of labour demand and skills supply across all sectors. Therefore, the positive impacts of the transition to a greener economy can be maximised only by developing the skills, knowledge and competencies required by resource-efficient processes and technologies; and integrating these into our businesses and communities.
To this end, Cedefop investigates the expected impact of environmental and climate change policies on future skills demand within and across sectors and provides insights for effective training and education policies.
In its bid to create over five lakh job opportunities by 2021 through green skills, the government on Monday launched a mobile application to begin enrolments in 30 expert course under its Green Skill Development Programme(GSPD).
The GSPD-ENVIS app, which can be downloaded on mobile phones, is the easiest way to apply for the programmes, an official said.
The cost of the programmes — which include 30 courses across 84 institutes like WII-Dehradun, Bombay Natural History Society in Mumbai, Botanical Survey of India in Pune and WWF in Delhi — will be supported by the Union Environment Ministry.
“GSDP aims to get 80,000 people imparted green skills and filling the skill gaps in the environment sector… a number of people to be employed under GSDP will be increased to cover 2.25 lakh, people, next year and to about 5 lakh people by the year 2021,” Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said.
The International Labour Organization (ILO), in its annual flagship report on the global job market, has noted that achieving the Paris Agreement’s 2 degrees Celsius goal will result in a net increase of 18 million jobs across the globe by 2030.
The “World Employment And Social Outlook 2018—Greening With Jobs” report also notes that more than 300,000 workers will be employed in the solar and wind energy sectors to meet the Narendra Modi government’s ambitious goal of generating 175 gigawatts (GW) of electricity from renewable resources by 2022. However, fulfilling this optimistic target will require establishing green skills training programmes.
India ranks amongst the top 10 countries for production of renewable energy through solar, wind and biomass. Sadly, the existing skill mismatch could not only pose hurdles to further growth here but also leave the poor out of the greening of the economy. Closing this green skill gap is imperative for establishing sound environmental sustainability programmes.
The initial step is identifying the necessary skills. The transition to green jobs can take place along two tracks. The first is a decline in the number of jobs in various industries, such as those reliant on carbon-based production. Secondly, changes in skill sets can equip workers to continue working in sectors like agriculture and infrastructure as they grow greener.
Managing the socioeconomic disruption in the former instance and matching industry demand in the latter demands good quantitative and qualitative employment data. For instance, South Africa regularly publishes a list of occupations that are in high demand, including those in the green sector.
France has a dedicated National Observatory of Jobs and Skills in the Green Economy, which regularly assesses employment trends in the green economy. In India, however, the recent spirited debates on job creation have underlined the lack of reliable, timely employment data.
Total renewable power capacity installed in India, as of February 2018, was 65 GW, against the target of 175 GW by 2022. If the government truly wants to accomplish this audacious goal, it will need to focus on much more than green energy infrastructure.