‘Green jobs’ key to employment crisis?

Green jobs contribute towards the environment, in traditional sectors such as manufacturing and construction, or in emerging green sectors like renewable energy. 

Published: 13th February 2022 07:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th February 2022 07:22 AM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Green jobs are in the spotlight. It was also apparent in the Union Budget announced recently, as the conversations around the subject have made their way from coffee tables of a limited few households to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget speech.With a focus on generating green jobs, the Budget emphasised on sectors such as artificial intelligence, geospatial systems and drones, semiconductor and its ecosystem, clean mobility systems, space economy and green energy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi early this week said that the budget for FY23 will not only ensure green growth but also generate green jobs. Addressing BJP workers on self-reliant economy, PM Modi said, “A big sector is waiting for green jobs and that’s the reason why many people have termed it a green budget.”

Green jobs contribute towards the environment, in traditional sectors such as manufacturing and construction, or in emerging green sectors like renewable energy. As more sectors are transitioning to low-carbon models, every job can be green.

Munira Loliwala- AVP - Diversified Engineering, TeamLease Digital, says, renewable energy, waste management & green transport majorly contribute to green jobs, with renewable expected to generate more than 3.3 lakh jobs in next few years while this segment saw a five-fold rise in workforce in the last 6 years.

A large number of people are needed in roof-top solar power generation, manufacturing of solar panel modules, inverters and converters and end-use components of LED bulbs and energy-efficient pumps, Loliwala said, adding, “Green fuel, EVs are the next-gen solutions to downsize vehicle emissions and one of the fastest growing markets in India that has already created a huge demand for job seekers mainly in the space of design, data systems, battery and software.”

The rise of electric vehicle sales this year by almost 200% as compared to 2020 brings in possibilities of employment in areas of manufacturing, design and production, he said. “Approximately 13% of jobs created through the revolution of green energy are within the rural towns, thus declining the problem of unemployment.”

A study titled, India’s Expanding Clean Energy Workforce, highlighted that most of the green new jobs would be generated by small-scale renewable energy projects including roof-top solar and mini-micro grid systems in comparison to utility or large-scale projects like solar parks.

Surge in demand

Yeshab Giri, Chief Commercial Officer - Staffing & Randstad Technologies, Randstad India, says increase in awareness amongst new-age buyers about the impact of businesses on the environment has led to a rise in the demand of professionals having skills to create green processes and technologies.

Companies in manufacturing and transportation have been looking for sustainability analysts, water waste management experts, solar designers, urban environment impact officers and environment database administrators to ensure decarbonised operations, Giri says.

“Moreover, start-ups specifically working in industries like water, waste and power management have been receiving a funding stimulus from millennial investors thereby attracting young talent looking to work for ‘companies with a purpose’,” he says, adding India is currently one of the top three countries in the world for green jobs and going by the current estimates, the renewable energy sector can create anywhere around 85,000 to 100,000 jobs just by 2022.

Demand-supply mismatch

Experts suggest employers are constantly in search of skilled manpower in the technology and manufacturing sectors that can contribute to the growth of green India, however, there is a mismatch in demand and supply.

Rajesh Aggarwal, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, has also recently said the bigger challenge would be that the employer will find it difficult to find the right talent and employees will feel a lack of good job opportunities

The Prince’s Trust launched its findings from the ‘Future of Work’, which show 74% people would be interested in a green job which helps tackle climate change, despite only 3% having their main job in the sector. For the study, YouGov polled people aged 18-35 in Canada, Ghana, India, Pakistan, the UK and US.

Terra.do, a climate education and career transition platform for professionals across industries and sectors, is working to solve this mismatch, and has seen substantial growth in its largest programme, Climate Change Learning For Action in India, showing a strong interest from job seekers and employers alike.

Terra.do, which started its first batch in 2020, saw 71 applicants in the same year and 347 applicants in 2021.“The launch of our work experience Practicum programme in collaboration with Green Artha in India this year saw substantial interest right out of the gate, with 13 organisations expressing an interest in the Green Artha Fellowship/Practicum programme,” says Anshuman Bapna, Founder, Terra.do.

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