it will create 30 million jobs

The path towards a more climate and environmentally sustainable economy, promoted by consumers, investors and institutions, will accelerate the green transformation of companies and lead to an increase in sustainability employment opportunities, creating up to 30 million new jobs worldwide by 2030.

According to the report “Building Competitive Advantage with A People-First Green Business Transformation” by ManpowerGroup, presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos, which involved around 40,000 employers and over 5,000 people in 41 countries, the 70% of companies across all industries plan to hire sustainability talentthe so-called “green jobs”. The strongest hiring intentions (81%) were found in the energy and public services sector, followed by the information technology (77%) and financial services (75%) sectors, while the most sought-after green talents are those related to production functions (36%), operations and logistics (31%), IT (30%), sales and marketing (27%), engineering (26%), administration (25%) and human resources (25%).

Italy among countries with greater skills shortages

Only in Europe, they could be created over 1.7 million new jobs green by 2040 thanks to the development of green molecules, such as hydrogen and biofuels, as part of the energy transition. However, the transition will require reskilling and upskilling 60% of professionals to equip them with the crucial skills needed to meet growing green demand.

The report also talks about Italy and places it – together with Spain and Germany – among the countries with the greatest skills shortages, which must be addressed through professional training, workforce mapping tools and public-private partnerships. Furthermore, women's participation in green economy jobs is increasing, but remains below 40% in most countries. The exceptions are Spain and Italy, where women are expected to hold more than 50% of direct green jobs by 2040.

However, green skills are in short supply, so much so that 94% of employers globally acknowledge that they do not have the professionals needed to achieve their ESG objectives and three-quarters (75%) of them say they have difficulty finding the talents with the sought-after skills. Among the main obstacles cited by companies seeking to progress in the green transition are sourcing qualified candidates (44%), creating effective reskilling programs (39%) and identifying transferable skills (36%).

Green skills: a career opportunity

Globally, only 1 in 8 workers has more than one “green” skill. This is a challenge for employers, but also an opportunity for workers: in fact, the average hiring rate for people with at least one green skill is 29% higher than the average, while the number of advertisements of jobs requiring at least one green skill grew by 15% in 2023 compared to the previous year. In this respect, there are substantial differences depending on the different groups of workers considered: in fact, while 70% of white-collar roles declare themselves ready to embrace the green transition, only 57% of production-related roles say the same.

Differences in enthusiasm towards the green transition are also found at the sectoral level. Workers in the Information Technology (75%) and financial services and real estate (74%) sectors are the most ready to welcome the next transformations in the sustainability field. At the same time, workers in the energy and utilities (64%) and transportation, logistics and automotive (62%) sectors are less optimistic.

Generational differences: more optimistic young people

In general, most workers are optimistic about the green transition. Even when evaluating a job opportunity, people analyze the progress that companies have made in the environmental field, rather than their promises. This is a positive thing for employers investing in building more sustainable business models.

At a generational level, however, there are discrepancies between workers, with greater attention to the issue of sustainability by the younger ones. In fact, if a third (32%) of people belonging to Gen Z believe that green jobs will be characterized by higher pay, only 14% of Baby Boomers share this thought. Additionally, 75% of Gen Zers research companies' sustainability efforts, and 46% say this impacts their likelihood of choosing a particular employer.

Finally, 71% of Gen Z and 60% of Millennials believe that initiatives towards a more sustainable world will improve their work, compared to just 44% of Baby Boomers. Younger generations also see more opportunities to develop their careers, with 35% of Gen Z and 34% of Millennials considering it a major benefit of the transition. Standing out as a leading company in sustainability can therefore make the difference in recruiting new talent.