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Ireland’s share of workers with green skills is rising, says IDA

21 Dec 2022

An IDA Ireland report says the country will need to fill more than 20,000 jobs by 2030 to support green economy sectors.

Ireland’s share of workers with green skills – that is, people with skills relevant to sustainability and climate action efforts ­– is on the rise.

According to IDA Ireland’s latest Labour Market Pulse report, which features data from LinkedIn, 13pc of LinkedIn members in Ireland were considered ‘green talent’ in 2021.

That included LinkedIn members who work in jobs that require green skills, as well as those that have these skills listed on their profile.

The increase of green talent has been driven partially by new sustainability-focused jobs but predominantly by jobs in other sectors with sustainable elements, such as compliance managers or data scientists.

Based on analysis of the skills added by LinkedIn’s more than 875m global members over the past seven years, the overall share of green talent on LinkedIn has risen from 9.6pc to 13.3pc between 2015 and 2021.

Ireland’s adoption of green skills is happening broadly in line with Europe-wide and global trends.

In 2021, approximately 10pc of LinkedIn Ireland members hired were in green jobs or jobs that benefited from green skills. Hiring for green jobs almost doubled compared to 2016 figures.

The most popular green skills groups added on LinkedIn in Ireland last year were sustainability, environmental awareness, renewable energy, environment, health and safety, and environmental science.

Since 2019, green jobs have grown considerably with the implementation of climate targets and the Climate Action Plan in Ireland.

However, the IDA Ireland report said that the Irish economy will need to fill more than 20,000 jobs by 2030 just to support green economy sectors.

New entrants to the labour market will be able to take some of these jobs, it added, but investment in upskilling initiatives is needed to ensure future demand for green skills is met.

The need to build up a pipeline of talent with the necessary sustainability skills and understanding is particularly relevant following the recent COP27 climate conference.

Minister for Transport, Climate, Environment and Communications Eamon Ryan, TD, said Ireland is committed to “one of the most ambitious climate action plans of any developed country” with the aim of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 and a 51pc reduction in emissions by 2030.

“Key to guaranteeing a more sustainable and secure future is ensuring we have the right green skills to power the transition to net zero ­– and the data from LinkedIn highlights that this workforce transition is already underway in Ireland.”

Ryan added that the growing sustainability skillset among Irish professionals combined with the future expected demand for talent indicated “the breadth of opportunities ahead in the journey to tackle climate change”.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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