The green transition towards 2030 and 2050 will be a long haul. It will bring new job functions while others will disappear. 23% of the respondents fear that their skills will not be in demand due to the green transition. That is a large number.
It is important that the unemployed are not excluded from the development but that they benefit from the new jobs that emerge. Both for their own sake and because experiences with new opportunities and good living conditions contribute to ensuring broad support for the green transition. To ensure this, there is a need for skills development.
In is also important for companies that there are good opportunities for those who are unemployed. If some of the thousands of unemployed can fill jobs after having completed skills development, this would reduce the risk of shortages of specific groups of workers.
At the same time, skills development can help ensure both a skilled workforce, an increased supply of labour and more people gaining a more permanent foothold on the labour market.
23% of respondents fear that their skills will not be in demand due to the green transition
Skills at the forefront
If the unemployed are to have opportunities and be able to fill the new jobs, they need to learn some of the skills that companies will require for the green transition. As many as 65% believe that better opportunities for training and continuing education is the best way to provide security for the ones who need to find a new job due to the green transition.
Extensive efforts should therefore be launched to upskill the unemployed so that they can fill the new jobs and have the skills that these jobs require. For example, this could be to provide continuing education and training to craftsmen to equip them to install and maintain heat pumps, solar heating systems etc.
Flexibility is key
The green transition can create many different types of jobs and skills but these are hard to predict with precision. The transition to new and so far unknown ways of production is at the centre of the circular economy, for example.
It is therefore crucial that the Danish educational- and skills development system is strengthened in generally and made more flexible and simpler so that the unemployed can quickly be upskilled to fill the green jobs when they emerge. In this way, the skills of the unemployed will not become a bottleneck but rather a catalyst for the green transition.
Skills development increases employment and reduces inequality
FH has analysed the socio-economic effects of specific training and education and skills development for unskilled workers in particular. This analysis clearly shows, that even though this would cause a marginal drop in employment in the short term, employment would rise markedly in the longer term and inequality would be reduced.
If the skills development of the unemployed is to be successful – to the benefit of both the climate and society – it is necessary that there are good opportunities for and rights to develop one’s skills as an individual – both during the notice period and when unemployed.
It is also central that red tape or lack of access do not obstruct training and skills development for the unemployed. This goes for citizens, civil servants as well as companies. This requires simple rules and easier access to knowledge on training and education and skills development offers.
There is already a number of good skills development tools among the existing employment initiatives. Many of them have never really been put to use or been widely used.
FH therefore proposes that a number of the existing tools are strengthened, since they will contribute to ensuring the green skills that are sought after by the companies. FH’s proposal is summed up in box 16.
Box 16: FH proposes
- A new start when it comes to boosting training and education, including a new rate, better information and basic training, better coherence with the education system and simplifications
- Focus on the regional work and the role of the social partners, including more funds for vocational training courses that can open doors to jobs in the green transition
- A revival of job rotation, including economic improvements for citizens, municipalities and companies etc.
- A simpler and stronger system for adult apprentices, including simplifications of rates and target groups as well as better coherence with the unemployment benefit system etc.
- Change of tracks: It must be easier to embark on a new education or training programme that is relevant to the green transition if one’s training is obsolete
- The right to six weeks’ job-focused education, including an earlier start and a better transition from the notice period