What really are ‘green jobs’?

What really are ‘green jobs’?

Today there is a collective navigation towards a greener economy, one that encourages sustainability and offers a better quality of life for all. This transition has seen an increase in the number of green jobs across the UK. But what really are ‘green jobs’?

Green jobs vary in description and responsibility, yet they mutually contribute to the primary goal of building a more environmentally conscious and sustainable future.

However, this green transition unfolds during a period of talent scarcity. According to the Manpower Green Business Transformation report, 75% of employers across the globe say they are struggling to find the skilled talent they need. This indicates a significant demand for skilled workers within the green sector.

In this blog, we’ll explore the definition of green jobs, the types of jobs available and how you can get onto the green career ladder.

Defining green jobs

According to The Education Hub, green jobs are jobs that contribute to the preservation and restoration of the environment and our planet. They include a wide array of positions in renewable energy production, such as solar or wind power, as well as roles in energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, waste management and environmental conservation. Professionals in these fields are dedicated to creating a greener economy by developing and implementing strategies to minimise environmental impact while fostering economic growth and social wellbeing.

There is a growing number of sectors that are actively seeking to adjust their processes to help tackle issues such as climate change.

Exploring the spectrum of opportunities

Within the realm of green jobs, opportunities spread across many industries. The Manpower Green Business Transformation report offers a nuanced perspective, categorising these roles into five different ‘shades’ that reflect evolving skill sets and responsibilities:

  1. Green jobs: These are current roles that contribute to environmental sustainability but do not require new skills
  2. Greening jobs: These are existing roles that are becoming more impactful to environmental sustainability and require some new skills
  3. Green+ jobs: These are new roles being created to accelerate environmental sustainability and will require many new skills
  4. Green skills: These are the knowledge, soft and technical abilities, values and attitudes needed to live in, develop and support a sustainable and research efficient society
  5. Non-green jobs: These are roles that do not contribute to an employer’s overall environmental sustainability.

From energy, agriculture, construction and manufacturing, to transport, waste management, policy and research, green career opportunities are endless. Here are some examples of green jobs that you can get into*:

Environmental advisor
National average salary: 
Environmental advisors are pioneers in ensuring environmental regulations are complied with. Collaborating closely with clients, they manage legislative issues including planning permissions and consent, whilst having a hand in sustainability strategies of businesses.

Wind turbine technician
National average salary: 
Wind turbine technicians play a crucial role in maintaining the seamless operation of wind turbines. From routine maintenance to installation tasks, these skilled professionals ensure the efficient generation of clean energy, contributing significantly to our sustainable future.

Air quality technician
National average salary: 
In the fight against air pollution, air quality technicians assess the level of pollution in the air to develop strategies to combat harmful pollution levels. In using their expertise, they contribute to the enhancement of air quality, promoting healthier and more breathable environments for communities.

*National average salaries from Glassdoor.co.uk

Getting onto the green career ladder

Securing a role in the realm of green jobs demands more than just a basic understanding of the field – it calls for a commitment to continuous learning and skill development. Many green jobs exist within the engineering sector, a sector that commonly offers apprenticeships. An apprenticeship is one great way for you to learn whilst developing skills on the job. These opportunities can go up to degree level, providing a comprehensive foundation for success in the field.

Alternatively, volunteer work or internships present additional avenues for you to develop your skills and gain practical insight into the complexities of environmental stability. Like apprenticeships, these experiences offer you a dynamic learning environment where you can gain expertise in your field.

Crafting a compelling CV tailored to the specific requirements of green roles is paramount in showcasing your suitability for the position. Highlighting your relevant job history and additional experiences that demonstrate your passion for sustainability can significantly strengthen your application. During interviews, articulating these experiences will show your depth of knowledge and will also showcase your genuine commitment to driving positive change in the field.

If you’re ready to start your green career, or progress in your current role, Manpower is here to help. With branches spread throughout the country, we have hundreds of temporary and permanent green job opportunities available across a range of industries. Our expert consultants are on hand to match your experience and skill set with suitable roles.

View all our job opportunities and apply today.

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