Over the next few years, the European economy will undergo a gradual process of transformation towards carbon neutrality. A number of factors will contribute to this, including legislative - the EU's commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 (EU Green Deal) and geopolitical - the military conflict in Ukraine. The EU plans to invest more than €600 billion from the NextGenerationEU renewal plan and the 2021-2027 programming period to achieve these goals. This process will affect all areas of society and will not avoid changes in the labour market.
For this reason, in a survey carried out in early 2022, researchers at the Institute of Economics asked Slovak employers about their expectations of the impact of the green transformation on different groups of employees according to their skill level. On the positive side, respondents do not expect a major negative impact of the transition to a green economy on employment levels. Employers are most concerned about job losses for low-skilled positions.
An important message from respondents was that green jobs will require investment in further education and training and/or changes to training programmes (over 70% of responses for each skill level). Conversely, less than a fifth of respondents expect no need for training and employment to arise as a result of the transition to a green economy.
Employers expect the greatest need for further training for medium-skilled positions (over 90%), followed by high-skilled occupations (around 85%). Respondents indicated that it is highly likely that simply upgrading existing skills will not be sufficient to meet the needs of green jobs. It will therefore be necessary to implement education and training linked not only to updating existing skills but also to acquiring new knowledge and skills.
The survey is one of the activities of the INTERCEPT project, financially supported by the EEA and Norway Grants from the Youth Employment Fund with an amount of EUR 2.18 million. The main objective of the project is to create an innovative system to help young people aged 25-29, who are inactive in the labour market, to take advantage of training opportunities to gain employment in the green economy.
The research report of the project is available here.