The future of jobs in the Green Economy

August 26, 2021

Climate change and the rise of the fourth industrial revolution in the last decade have ignited a shift in priorities worldwide, from changes in lifestyle and consumer choices to digitalization of work and primary services. While the rise of automation has made many jobs redundant, and certain employees replaceable, efforts to combat climate change have created new industries with a different set of needs and required skills.

The world around us is rapidly changing, and so is the future of jobs. Bridging the skills gap to enable a green transition should be near the top of our to-do list, but very few organizations are stepping up to the plate. Through our GreenWorks program, we at Hivos are proud to be one of those leading the sustainable transition towards the future of jobs in North Africa. With the program’s alliance partners, we aim to help create 9,000 jobs for young people by 2024.

Combating climate change

According to the ILO, the Green Economy is the fastest growing sector. It is forecast that if the right policies are in place, the sector will create 24 million new jobs by 2030 (UN, 2019). The UN’s report on the climate crisis highlights the need for investment in green jobs for young people to help bolster climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. The ILO further stresses that some 1.2 billion jobs depend on healthy environments and fragile natural ecosystems.

The green transition, in addition to being a necessity, could also be a tool to reduce poverty and offer vulnerable communities future proof employment. Solar farms in Egypt and Morocco account for about 1 percent of the countries’ total employment, while low-skilled labor accounts for 44 percent of all employees. The Green Economy is proven to be inclusive in the waste management and food sectors as well. Nevertheless, support programs bridging the skills gap at all levels of the value chain in the region are still in short supply.

A sustainable transition

While mapping the post-pandemic era, many institutions are looking for new ways to support sustainable jobs and help the transition to a greener economy in North Africa. Startups focused on environmentally sustainable solutions are sprouting up across the region, and in so doing create more sustainable job opportunities. Nevertheless, as an “alien breed” amongst startups in the market, they need governmental and institutional support until market adaptability is achieved. Moreover, efforts to teach youth new skills and bridge the experience gap required by companies operating in the Green Economy are still not meeting the demand.

We at Hivos believe that a sustainable transition must tackle the sector as a complete value chain and support people working all along the chain. The GreenWorks Program aims to support the growing Green Economy across North Africa and help advance sustainable job opportunities for youth in the region. Our program delivers 21st-century skills training courses to youth to enhance their access to economic opportunities in future-oriented green sectors. Moreover, our upskilling is combined with job placement procedures. And GreenWorks helps startups operating in the Green Economy to scale and create new sustainable jobs.

Showcasing the future of jobs

Our goal goes beyond propelling a sustainable transition towards jobs of the future in the region. We also want to show that new jobs in the Green Economy are both inclusive and sustainable. We maintain an overall 50 percent gender breakdown among our beneficiaries and target people with a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds and skill sets.

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