Green skills shortage fears as job postings outstrip upskilling within the finance sector

New research from PWC reveals that 2023 ended with almost 17,000 unfilled roles in the UK green finance sector alone. It follows similar findings in ZCA’s proprietary research, which concludes that global green skills vacancies will soar to 147 million by 2028, with green skills adoption failing to meet demand.
January 10, 2024

Finance sector faces a green skills shortage

New research from PWC reveals that the UK ended 2023 with just under 17,000 unfilled roles in green finance[i]. The study, conducted in partnership with the Aldersgate Group and the Financial Services Skills Commission, found that whilst most of these roles were based in London, demand for skilled workers is also growing rapidly in other regions- particularly Scotland, where more than 2,200 roles remain open. 

Alarm bells should be ringing, with skills gap set to widen

The findings from PWC’s research should cause alarm- ZCA’s own research finds that the finance sector presently performs well versus other industries in terms of green skills penetration. This is largely due to awareness of sustainability and green issues (often through regulation and reporting requirements), corporate training programmes, and the sustainability policies enacted by employers themselves. Yet, with this sector now failing to match pace with the growing demand for green-skilled workers, it highlights the even greater challenge facing other sectors, which already lag in terms of skills adoption. With global green skills vacancies set to soar to 147 million by 2028, green skills adoption will fail to meet demand. ZCA forecasts a 300% increase in the demand for green skills by 2028, whilst in the same period green talent is only projected to rise by 54%.

Call to action for organisations, with the green transition at risk

PWC caution that a general lack of awareness of green career pathways across the younger generation and shifting values among young graduates is causing those with degrees centred on sustainability to move away from applying to industries that are perceived as less socially and environmentally conscious. They also find that substantial upskilling of the workforce will be needed. Thus, the impetus is on businesses to address these fears to attract and retain young talent, as well as to adopt policies and training programmes to tool their staff for the green transition.

ZCA’s latest research “The emerging green skills gap & Gen Z attitudes” includes a survey of so termed ‘Gen Z’ respondents- those born between 1997 and 2012[ii] which assess their attitudes towards the workplace.

Ultimately the research highlights a disparity between what the new generation of workers (the Gen Z cohort) want and what employers are presently offering, making this critical reading for organisations, lest they risk seeing the green transition falter.

Alongside granular 5-year market forecasts for leading economies and industry sectors, within the research report we answer the following questions:

1.       How is the green transition going to impact industries on a global, regional and national level?

2.       What legislative mechanisms are playing a part in the development of green skills around the globe?

3.       What is the current state of the green skills gap and how will it change in the next five years?

4.       What role does young green talent have in bridging the green skills gap and why do their unique attributes make them able to fulfil this role?

5.       How can an organisation attract and retain young green talent?

For further information, or to discuss pricing options, contact Charlie Jones, Press Relations:, or Lauren Foye, Head of Reports: 


[i] Job greening in the UK Financial Services Sector - PwC UK

[ii] Where Millennials end and Generation Z begins | Pew Research Center

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Lauren Foye
Head of Reports

Lauren has extensive experience as an analyst and market researcher in the digital technology and travel sectors. She has a background in researching and forecasting emerging technologies, with a particular passion for the Videogames and eSports industries. She joined the Critical Information Group as Head of Reports and Market Research at GRC World Forums, and leads the content and data research team at the Zero Carbon Academy. “What drew me to the academy is the opportunity to add content and commentary around sustainability across a wealth of industries and sectors.”

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