green-jobsThe latest EU unemployment statistics make for sobering reading: unemployment in the European Union has hit 10.9%, with unemployment in the Eurozone even higher at a record 12%. Youth unemployment is particularly dire, with almost one quarter of people under 25 in the Eurozone out of a job.

Last year, we asked if you thought “greening the economy” could help spur an economic recovery in Europe. This idea certainly sounds worthy, but what does it actually mean in practice? What is a “green job”, and what sort of skills would young people need to be hired for one?

In an earlier debate, Christos suggested that:

We need to prepare young Europeans for an ultra-competitive future. We need to [offer young people] opportunities to receive education for new industries, like the green sustainable one. Of course, first we need to create job positions to absorb the young people with those new skills.

Which is perhaps easier said than done. However, on 2 May, 2013, Debating Europe will be covering the Round Tables with Round Cakes intern-only event with Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for the Environment, and these are some of the issues that will probably come up. The focus of the event is “What will you be doing in 2030? The skills and expertise young professionals will need to tackle future environmental challenges”, and we would love to take some of YOUR questions and comments about this issue.

What do YOU think? What will YOU be doing in 2030? What is a “green job”, and what sort of skills will young people need to be hired for one? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policy-makers and experts for their reaction.

Vote 2014

Voting is closed in our Debating Europe Vote 2014! The results are now in, so come and see what our readers thought!



10 comments Post a commentcomment


  1. Samo

    I think everything related with optimization of products and their manufacturing process will be THE jobs for the future. Also the recycling sector should get a lot of attention. Oh and lets not forget the transport sector, which requires huge amounts of attention directed into its modernization very soon, especially in the big cities.

    The reason for my thinking is that currently, our planet’s resources are being exploited at rate way too high to be sustainable. What we need to do is reduce our energy consumption, especially with its efficient use, and we also need to be able to reuse most, if not all the materials that we use.

  2. CROATIAN CENTER of RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES

    Every day, CCRES supporters fight to make environmental education, clean energy solutions, and the green economy a reality.
    Young people need to be :
    • dedicated to the cause of completely substituting for nuclear and fossil energy through renewable energy,
    • regards solar energy supply as essential to preserve the natural resources and a prerequisite for a sustainable economy,
    • acts to change conventional political priorities and common infrastructures in favor of renewable energy, from the local to the international level,
    • brings together expertise from the fields of politics, economy, science, and culture to promote the entry of solar energy,
    • provides the opportunity to play a part in the sociocultural movement for renewable energy by joining the association for everyone,
    • considers full renewable energy supply a momentous and visionary goal – the challenge of the century to humanity.

  3. Profile photo of Peter Schellinck
    Peter Schellinck

    The point is rather how to better integrate our children into the labor cycle. What are green jobs? Jobs are what the systems requires to proceed and the good news is that we are embarking on a more sustainable and environmentally responsible economic model. At the moment 3 out of 5 jobs have no curiculum at schools. They are created in the business environment. Hence, more needs to be done to link education to business development. This ultimately should lead to a job for a degree guarantee.

  4. Susie Lukacova

    I hope that by 2030 the state of our planet will significantly improve. Well, that’s maybe too optimistic but I really hope that we will be on a way to make this happened and 2030 will see big changes from today.
    I feel that a lot bigger support – political and public – is needed to make green jobs stand out and make them attractive for young people. Young generation possess an enormous academic knowledge which is often not appreciated and people work in completely unrelated jobs. Therefore we urgently need to:
    1. Offer more opportunities of training and internships which are paid and not impossible to obtain
    2. Get united (politicians and governments, citizens, NGOs) in working together to achieve the same goal – better and healthier planet for our children
    3. Invest in creating green jobs whether in renewables, sustainable transport, recycling, law and policy and research jobs, campaigning etc BUT not just talks and ton of paper wasted but the REAL ACTION from people in power which will in turn get the industry going and create new jobs in the green area
    4. Offer more graduate schemes and trainings
    5. Publicize and promote green practices in an efficient way – educate public, subsidize green policy and move away for good from fossil fuels, bad biofuels and harmful practices – take precautionary approach

  5. Alma García

    In general for “greening the economy” considering concepts such as “circular economy” I think jobs must be created in the services sector, repairing or refurbishing products to extend their lifetime, providing customer service for leasing instead of selling products, in order to change the buy, use and throw away current consumption patterns.
    As for what skills do people working in environmental fields need, I would say to have a more holistic view of the problems, realizing that there is not 100% right or wrong and that environmental problems can´t be solved with “one-size-fits-all” solutions but more with a combination of policies, technology and social changes at different levels.

  6. eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    Os estados da UE devem mostrar mais responsabilidade com as classes mais jovens por isso têm que oferecer oportunidades aos jovens com formação de empregos verdes e com estágio dentro das empresas que trabalham nas areas verdes

  7. The Eblana European Democratic Movement

    so far there are no investments in education, to prepare for a next generation of a European working force.. Instead of investing in education we bail out the banks.. if Europe needs to become a leading power in “green economy” and “green jobs”, it better start investing now, starting from its education system and innovation… otherwise we will have to be importing workers from other regions, that will develop these new industries.. we will be coming second again!!

  8. Dochka Hristova

    I would like to encourage the BIG 4 and smaller consultancies to start Green Graduate Schemes. Some such as PwC have already started thinking in that direction by opening Sustainable Development trainning schemes for graduates, and this is a positive step.

    Young professionals, who acquire the skills to become green consultants will be in a better position to help transform the current brown economy into a green economy. Such schemes will help them to combine strong commercial awareness with strong environmental awareness, and provide strategic advice to business and the public sector that considers ecosystem services and prescribes economic value to nature.

  9. Adonis Karmiotis

    Green jobs in my opinion are any jobs which have a positive effect on our planetary system and nature.Anything from renewable energy sources, or technologies that help significant decrease on our carbon footprint, to approved eco friendly building, reforestation, etc.etc , By 2030 I hope we will be able to introduce a much more planet friendly system which does not unconditionally exploit natural resources or other species especially of the marine environment just for profit.I hope that we will by then introduce meaning full universal values and all countries will agree to reward its citizens not only with money in such a way so to dimotivate any actions that are now pushing fragile ecosystems to diminish or even to motivate innovative ideas on how we can generally improve our footprint as the dominant species. I wish humanity will by free will evolve in such a way as to start changing from negative part of the whole to a positive one

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