Sustainability Goals Spur Demand For Green Skills

A new report from ManpowerGroup reveals 70% of employers are recruiting green talent.

The accelerating pace of the global green transition is intensifying the competition for talent, according to new research from ManpowerGroup. “Building Competitive Advantage with A People-First Green Business Transformation,” reveals demand for green skills is outstripping supply as employers work to recruit and retain qualified talent critical to achieving their sustainability targets.

Based on surveys of nearly 39,000 employers and over 5,000 workers worldwide, the findings spotlight an unprecedented convergence of talent scarcity, climate urgency, and technological disruption hindering sustainability progress. With 2023 now the hottest year ever recorded, the report underscores the urgency for organizations to deliver on their environmental goals and commitments.

Green Skills

“As companies accelerate their sustainability efforts, it’s critical we bring people along on the journey,” said Riccardo Barberis, President, ManpowerGroup Northern Europe Region. “Investments in green technology will only get us halfway if employers fail to properly skill and reskill workers to operate in a greener future. Prioritizing workforce development must be a core pillar of net-zero strategies.”

Here are some key findings from the report:

  • Unprecedented Demand: 70% of employers are urgently recruiting or planning to recruit green talent and people with sustainability skills, with the highest demand in renewable energy, manufacturing, operations, and IT.
  • Widening Global Skills Gap: Despite demand, only 1 in 8 workers currently have more than one green skill, sparking an exponential shortage as companies compete for limited talent.
  • High Industry Demand: Energy & Utilities (81%), Information Technology (77%), Financials & Real Estate (75%), Industrials & Materials (74%), and Transport, Logistics & Automotive (73%) top the leaderboard with the highest intentions to hire green talent to meet sustainability targets.

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  • Roadblocks Slowing Progress: Talent leaders cited finding qualified candidates (44%), creating effective reskilling programs (39%), and identifying transferable skills (36%) as the top barriers to execute green transitions.
  • Workforce Skepticism: While 70% of white-collar workers say they are ready to embrace the green transition, only 57% of their blue-collar peers say the same.
  • Gen Z Calls for Accountability: Three-quarters (75%) of Gen Z candidates research a prospective employer’s green reputation and nearly half (46%) say it will impact their likelihood of choosing a particular employer.
  • Generational Divide: 66% of Gen Z and 64% of Millennials believe sustainability efforts will enhance their work, compared to just 44% of Baby Boomers.

To learn more about the green jobs landscape, workforce readiness perceptions, and recommendations for planning for the greening world of work, download the complete report.

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