How can green skills and jobs in developed countries be supported, to enable a transition to a sustainable economy?

The discourse on green jobs and skills gained momentum due to the employment potential linked to the transition to a greener economy. In light of this, the study aimed to provide evidence from OECD countries to help accelerate the development of green jobs and skills and as such transition to a green economy. Five case studies from different regions and sectors were selected and assessed in terms of their governance, results and impacts, key success factors, and challenges encountered.

Evolution of the key concepts analysed in the study. (Source: Koen Rademaekers, Katarina Svatikova, Jessica Yearwood, Irati Artola. 2015. Green jobs and COP21: Green skills and jobs in developed countries – Final report. ADEME.)

Key findings of the research can be summarised as follows:

Results show that a clear setting of targets, strict monitoring, multi-stakeholder cooperation, and an integrated policy approach to environmental and economic/employment issues enhance the chances of success of these initiatives. On the other hand, the most common challenges are related to funding and stakeholder support.

The study formulates recommendations for green jobs and skills initiatives at several levels: at the national, regional or local levels, at the supranational level, and at the project level.

  • National, regional or local policy-makers are advised to decentralise the management of the initiatives, ensure effective communication, define clear and quantifiable objectives, encourage involvement of the different stakeholders, create an enabling regulatory framework for green jobs, arrange steady and reliable funding, and integrate environmental concerns into existing employment policies.
  • Supranational bodies are encouraged to take an awareness-raising role, undergo research and support countries implementing national initiatives.
  • At project level, a checklist with steps has been created for project promotors.