Article: Industry-academia collaboration key to close green job talent shortage

Strategic HR

Industry-academia collaboration key to close green job talent shortage

The pressing challenges of environmental sustainability and climate change have spurred a surge in demand for skilled professionals in the green sector. However, the persistent talent shortage remains a significant challenge.
Industry-academia collaboration key to close green job talent shortage

Thanks to the government's increased focus on investment in indigenous technologies and manufacturing skills for climate and resource conservation, companies have increased hiring for green talent.

Reports indicate that India will witness a 15-20% increase in green jobs. According to the NLB report this growth is being driven by India's aim to achieve net zero by 2070.

What are green jobs and where does the talent gap come from? As the globe transitions to a greener economy, many established industries are adopting green practices, and brand-new green industries are also emerging.

Professionals who can drive innovation, deploy green technologies, and develop sustainable practices are becoming more and more in demand, says Sridhar Laxman, Executive Coach & Founder, Lucid Minds Coaching as the world moves towards a more sustainable and ecologically friendly economy.

“The education and training systems may struggle to keep up with this rapid expansion, resulting in a skilled employee shortage. Green jobs are suited for various industries that prioritise environmental sustainability, renewable energy, and eco-friendly practices,” says Laxman.

With the rising emphasis on curbing climate change and bringing about sustainable development, the importance of green skills has soared of late. However, numerous studies demonstrate that demand for green skills is still outstripping its supply across the globe. “It has been reported that despite the rapid growth in green jobs, only 13% of the workforce holds the right academic qualifications and skills needed to work in these roles,” says Sachin Alug, CEO, NLB Services.

According to Alug, retail, automotive, healthcare, financial services, renewable energy, etc. are some of the industries that may be affected the most due to the green job talent gap.

Most sought-after skills for green jobs

Some of the most sought-after green job skills are carbon accounting & reporting, climate change fundamentals, data collection & management, ESG analysis, sustainability management, green supply chain management, and climate change adaptation planning, to list a few.

 “As India sets the goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2070, academic institutes are catching up to the rise in demand for green skills and have made adaptations and updates to the curriculum. We still have a long way to go when it comes to building the right modules to make the up-and-coming generations green job-ready,” mentions Alug.

“In my practice as a coach, I have often seen clients frequently look for a mix of technical expertise, practical abilities, and a strong commitment to sustainability and environmental care in candidates for green jobs. While exact certifications and abilities can vary by industry and job, sustainability literacy, analytical ability, and problem-solving aptitude are some frequently sought-after qualities,” says Laxman.

Will collaboration with other organisations help address the green job talent gap? Industry experts believe that collaboration with other organisations, businesses as well as academic institutes, can be immensely helpful to address the skill gap in green jobs. “This way, we can come together and leverage our tech know-how, industry expertise, and educational vision to create the roadmap for optimizing strategies and building better resources,” adds Alug.

To close the talent gap for green jobs, Laxman mentions that working with different stakeholders can result in more effective and comprehensive solutions, since the need for qualified people in green and sustainability-focused industries is expected to continue to rise. “Specialised training programs that meet the demands of the green job market can be developed through cooperation between employers and educational institutions. This guarantees that applicants receive current and pertinent education, improving their employability.”

Ganesh Nikam, Co-Founder & CEO at Biojobz says that by joining forces, we can accelerate the efforts to bridge the green job talent gap, foster a culture of sustainability, and create a skilled workforce ready to contribute to a greener future.

“By exchanging insights and lessons learned, organisations can identify successful strategies for attracting, training, and retaining talent in green jobs. This knowledge sharing can help streamline efforts and avoid duplicating work,” adds Nikam.

“Development of training and education programs tailored to green job skills and qualifications, building a strong network and talent pipeline, promotion of green careers, engagement with potential candidates, internship and apprenticeship programs to provide hands-on experience, create pathways for talent to enter the field, are other benefits of collaboration among organisations,” highlights Nikam.

Collaboration can also amplify the collective voice of organisations in advocating for policies and incentives that support green jobs and sustainability initiatives. “By working together, organisations can engage with policymakers, regulatory bodies, and industry stakeholders to influence regulations, funding allocations, and the integration of sustainability into workforce development strategies. This will also facilitate joint research and innovation projects focused on addressing sustainability challenges and advancing green technologies.

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Topics: Strategic HR, Talent Management, #Jobs

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