- According to LinkedIn, only 1 in 8 workers worldwide have the environmental skills companies are looking for.
- The gap is most acute among women, highlighted by the emerging ‘green ceiling’.
- Employers will have to rethink how they hire, LinkedIn told Business Insider.
The ecological transition is widely expected to happen create millions of new jobs Around the World.
The problem, according to a recent analysis of LinkedIn user data, is that there aren’t enough workers with the right skills.
“We’re not close to where we need to be yet,” Efrem Bycer, senior manager of public policy and economic graph at LinkedIn, told Business Insider. “We need to accelerate the development of green talent, not only because of the planetary imperative, but also because of the range of economic opportunities we are leaving on the table.”
LinkedIn found that only 1 in 8 workers globally have the green skills companies are looking for – such as measuring carbon emissions, building vehicle designs that use solar, wind and electricity, preventing waste and protecting water quality. The difference is most acute among women: 9 out of 10 of them have no green skills or professional experience.
LinkedIn analyzed data from more than 1 billion people and 65 million companies using its site between January 2016 and August 2023. The company classified several hundred skills as “green” and examined changes in these profiles over this period.
Byzer noted that workers with environmental skills have better career prospects. This year, the green employment rate was 29% higher than in the entire market. However, breaking into this industry can be difficult because many positions require prior experience. This means employers will have to rethink how they hire to keep up with demand, according to LinkedIn analysis.
Employers should link their climate goals to their workforce and then invest in “precise talent development,” Byzer said. And even if someone doesn’t have a green belt in their current job, their skills can be transferred.
Byzer said people who have worked in project management, sales or customer service may be a good fit for positions at a solar consulting firm. LinkedIn needs procurement and supply chain management experts to help them reduce their carbon footprint. The ability to measure and track a company’s carbon footprint is one of the fastest-growing skills in the US.
Byzer said the fact that the current environmental talent pool is predominantly male – or 66% – is a big problem that highlights an emerging “green ceiling.”
One way to close this trade barrier, such as construction and electrical work, is the focus of apprenticeship programs. Adding wrap-around services like child care to these programs would help remove the barrier for women, Byzer said.
There are some encouraging signs. Women are more likely than men to join the environmental talent pool, defined as having one environmental skill or professional experience. LinkenIn’s analysis found that the pace is simply not fast enough to close the gap.
According to LinkedIn, women are 64% more likely to have skills related to sustainability education and approximately 20% more likely to have skills related to sustainability and the circular economy. Women working in the oil, gas and mining sectors have more environmental skills than men.
Byzer said another bright spot is how climate and labor experts in governments and companies talk about the problem.
“I’m hearing a lot more climate experts talking about jobs and a lot more workforce experts talking about climate,” Byzer said. “These groups don’t get together very often.”