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APAC's ‘Eco-Evolution’: How the labour market is gradually being transformed by green jobs and skills

Amidst the prevailing digital advancements, the skills required for roles have undergone a significant transformation, soaring by 31% throughout the APAC region since 2015. In this era of unprecedented change, businesses are now also starting to recognise the importance of integrating environmentally conscious practices into their operations and traditional industries are slowly transforming into sustainable powerhouses. 

As manufacturing, construction, education, and financial service sectors, among others, embrace the imperative of sustainability, green skills have taken centre stage as the driving force of success to achieve green transformation. 

Industry’s quest for green skills

Forward-thinking organisations not only recognise the ethical responsibility of integrating sustainable practices but also understand the immense strategic advantage it provides. While some industries, such as farming, ranching, and forestry, have undergone significant green transformation in the recent decade, other traditionally non-green sectors are swiftly following suit. Traditionally non-green sectors, including financial services, technology as well as information & media, are now kickstarting their green transformation and are actively seeking professionals with green skills to keep up with the transition towards a more sustainable future.

Market Outlook for Green Talent

The demand for professionals with green skills has surged across APAC, in varying ways. 

For example, in Australia, companies are increasingly seeking talent with green skills. As of Feb 2023, 24% of paid job postings on the platform require green skills – a 26% increase YOY from 19.1% in 2022. However, there aren’t enough workers with green skills needed to fill the gap. Only 1 in 8 workers in Australia have one or more green skills. 12.3% of all members in Australia are considered ‘green talent’, and the share of green talent has only increased by 13% YOY (up from 10.9% in Feb 2022).

In countries like India and Singapore, there’s a growing number of workers who are proactively acquiring green skills to stay relevant but job opportunities need to grow faster in order to match this rising supply. In India, the share of green talent has increased by 12% (up from 12.1% in Feb 2022) and in Singapore, the share of green talent has increased by 14% (up from 11.1% in Feb 2022). In contrast, however, paid job postings on the platform that require green skills saw a 5% increase YOY in India and a 1% increase in Singapore compared to a year ago.

Nurturing the green talent pool

Bridging this gap requires focused initiatives and collaborative efforts to nurture and expand the pool of green talent, regardless of industry. 

For Employers: Businesses will need to foster a culture of continuous learning by providing opportunities for reskilling and upskilling for the workforce. Ensuring every job – even ones that are not considered traditionally green – incorporates some version of green skills will further accelerate the green transformation. For example, Sustainability Reporting, one of the top green skills amongst professionals in India, may be required by Financial Accountants – who can assess the return on investment (ROI) of sustainability projects, cost savings from resource conservation, and potential risks or opportunities related to sustainability factors. Corporate Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility are other skills that may be utilised by Office Managers – who can implement sustainability initiatives within the workplace like promoting energy efficiency, waste reduction, and recycling programs. 

Companies can also adopt a skills-first approach to increase the talent pool for green roles by 5.3x globally. With more than 45% of hirers on LinkedIn using skills data to fill their roles, it is heartening to see how a skills-first approach will continue to provide more opportunities for the workforce.

For Individuals: As the rate of green transformation picks up pace in APAC, acquiring green skills can open new doors and enhance career prospects, even for traditionally ‘non green’ roles. Professionals can also remain competitive by picking up top green skills that are in-demand, including Sustainability Reporting, Corporate Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility – which are often utilised by financial accountants and office managers. 

It is safe to say that the demand for professionals with green skills will continue to rise and to ensure a sustainable future, we must prioritise bridging the gap between talent demand and supply for industries to successfully navigate the evolving landscape and drive positive change. Together we can shape a greener future for generations to come.

LinkedIn’s 2023 Global Green Skills Report provides insights on the trends, gaps and opportunities that will shape a greener and cleaner future of work.