Training and skills development is needed for the green transition

The green transition can create at least 200,000 full-time equivalents, as described above. It is specific work which is to be carried out and which involves the need for new skills. This applies to employed as well as unemployed persons, as described in the chapter on skills development.

The green transition can create at least 200,000 full-time equivalents, as described above. It is specific work which is to be carried out and which involves the need for new skills. This applies to employed as well as unemployed persons, as described in the chapter on skills development.

Training and skills development will, therefore, be crucial to the green transition. It is especially important that the education and training system, including continuing- and further education programmes, is able to react quickly and match the new skills in demand on the labour market.

The climate solutions that will help us achieve our 2030 and 2050 goals will, at the end of the day, be implemented by people.

danish trade union confederation

Therefore, just as we take into account the green transition in construction and afforestation projects today, we need to take into account the green transition when we do training and education. Training and education must be upgraded in light of the transition.

When further- and continuing education and training provides the individual worker with better opportunities for contributing actively to the transition through the implementation of new technologies and the development of new solutions, it can also give the worker a greater sense of ownership and involvement. In the end, this can be crucial to the support for the green transition.

FH’s survey shows that nine in ten workers are willing to use a new technology as part of their jobs. At the same time, two in three workers expect that the green transition will affect their job situation to such an extent that further- and continuing training and education will be necessary.

The education system must, however, also be ready to quickly absorb the requirements for new skills required in the transition. FH therefore proposes the initiatives that are summed up in box 15.

Striking a balance between technology and worker skills

New technologies and innovative solutions will play a key role in the green transition. For example, they could be in the form of climate-friendly materials, dietary changes and new hydrogen technologies in connection with Power-to-X.

Just as the digital transition, the green transition is about new technologies and new ways of thinking and working. And it involves everyone in the Danish society. The green transition includes the performance of tasks in every industry in both public and private companies.

It is important to strike a balance where investments into new technologies and new worker skills. The two must go hand in hand. This balance will ensure that workers are prepared to use and work with the new technologies.

danish trade union confederation

At the same time, a balance whereby new worker skills accompany the development in technology will provide the best possible basis for developing new and innovative solutions.

This can contribute to the new green solutions in the long term and thereby the transition towards 2050, just as it can contribute to exports and employment.

Key green skills

The tech skills that are needed at first hand, such as the specific skills to install a heat pump or to repair an electric car, are important. However, they cannot stand alone – especially if training is to fully underpin involvement, a sense of ownership of the transition and development of the new solutions that are to assist us towards 2050.

Attention should, in all industries, be given to the development of training and education and skills that give the workers an understanding of sustainable development, resource-efficiency and environmental protection. The basis for this should be solid basic skills in the occupational field of the individual worker.

Finally, it is important also to focus on cognitive and social skills.

A coherent and flexible education system

It is not possible to predict the many different job types and specific skills that the green transition will entail and require. Meanwhile, it is certain that the need for new skills will place big demands on both the ordinary education system as well as the further- and continuing training and education system.

It is therefore crucial that we have an education system, including a further- and continuing training and education system, and a support system that is flexible, without barriers, and which is coherent and foreseeable for the ones who need to use it so that young people and workers can quickly be trained, upskilled or retrained for the green jobs when they emerge.

This is important because it must be possible for the individual to continuously and throughout the entire working life combine employment, work-based learning and further- and continuing training and education.

Invest in training and education

In order to support the above, investments into the green transition should include investments into education and training.

This applies to investments into the entire Danish education system from primary schools to further education and training, but not least training and education where work-linked training and vocational training constitute the pivotal point and where the practical skills are in focus.

There are two reasons for this. Firstly, it is mainly skilled workers and workers with “skills to act” who will be working in different ways.

Secondly, ideas for new green solutions often come from the workers who work in professions or trades on an every day basis – as described in the chapter on worker participation above.

Figure 22 show that workers who have undergone vocational training have a tendency to work in “green goods and services” to a greater extent than people with other educational backgrounds.

There is thus a need for a special effort in order to ensure, in particular, that workers in those sectors that are to contribute to implement the green transition also have the skills to be a driving force in that development.

Today, many do not have, for example, basic skills in Danish, mathematics, English and digital skills. This should be remedied since adequate basic skills and competencies are a prerequisite for acquiring new skills.

Systematic educational planning is the way forward

FH’s analyses show that far more workers will embark on continuing education and training if their employers systematize it by means more continuous of and systematic educational planning.

Where their management creates a framework and a culture for continuing education and training, workers want to undergo continuing training in workplaces.

On this basis, we can expect that the skilled workers will, also in future, play a key role in producing “green products and services”.

danish trade union confederation

Consequently, more public and private companies must be motivated to work more systematically with the planning of adult education and continuing training so that the educational planning is taken just as seriously as the annual holiday planning etc.

Box 15: FH proposes

  1. In all industries, attention should be given to striking a balance between investments in new technology and training/skills development’
  2. The focus should not just be on technical skills but also on understanding, basic skills and cognitive and social skills
  3. The training and support system must be coherent and flexible so that everyone can participate throughout their working lives
  4. Invest in training and education
  5. Companies must systematize adult education and continuing training by means of systematic educational planning