The emerging green skills gap & Gen Z attitudes

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“This report highlights the strategic scale presented by the emerging and growing green skills challenge. It not only identifies the global sectoral and geographical challenges but combines that with granular, actionable plans that companies can implement to capitalise on the significant opportunities that the future growth agenda presents.”

Philip Sellwood CBE, Founder Trustee, Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Key Features


The drive for the global community – including national governments, businesses, and organisations, to address the environmental impact of fossil fuel use is altering the way in which many industries function. These new regulatory and technological requirements will change the way we work, and thus the skills needed to succeed. The worrying findings at present are that the demand for green skills is set to rapidly outpace the number of skilled workers.

Zero Carbon Academy’s seminal 30,000-word report forecasts key workplace demographic and recruitment changes up to 2028, and examines the following:

Industry focus & analysis: An industry level study of how the needs of the green transition is influencing the skills and technology requirements of organisations as they tread the path to sustainability and net zero. The key industries reviewed are:

  • Agriculture
  • Energy & mining
  • Construction
  • Education
  • Finance
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail
  • Real estate
  • Travel
  • Entertainment & recreation
  • Transport and logistics
  • Information & communication
  • Professional, scientific & technical
  • Other

Global green jobs legislation analysis: A clarification of the definition of green jobs and an evaluation of the global, regional and national level governmental mechanisms which are driving their growth. Key mechanisms in focus include but are not limited to:

  • UN sustainable development goals
  • The European green deal and green jobs agenda
  • French skills investment plan
  • Germany’s ‘Federal Government’s Skilled Labour Strategy’
  • Japan’s ‘Green Growth Strategy through Achieving Carbon Neutrality in 2050’

ZCA young green talent in the workplace survey: A quantitative and qualitative survey of 18–30-year-olds working in green jobs or acquiring education to pursue green jobs. The data includes a quantitative assessment of the education and experience of the group as well as ranking the importance of different organisational climate credentials and workplace culture components. Key takeaways focus on:

  • The expectations that young green talent have of their employer both in terms of climate credentials and workplace culture
  • The most crucial aspects of an organisation that will result in the retention of young green talent
  • The skills mix of young green talent and how it compares to organisational need
  • ZCA global green skills gap forecast: A proprietary top-down population forecast that projects the working population and the proportion of it that possesses green skills. It moves further to predict both the growth in green jobs and green skilled employees. The disparity between the two predicts how the global green skills gap will change in the coming 5 years. The forecast includes industry data to the same granularity as our industry focus and analysis and also includes regional projections (North America, Western Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Russia & Eastern Europe, Middle East & North Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa) as well as projections for 14 key economies (Canada, United States, France, Italy, Germany, Norway, Sweden, UK, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Russia)

Key Questions Answered

  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?

Data and Forecast


Zero Carbon Academy’s forecast suite is made up of more than 145 tables and 22,900 data points and includes 5-year projections for:

  • Working population
  • Total number of people in employment
  • Total number of people in full time employment
  • Number of occupied green job roles
  • Number of advertised green job roles
  • The green skills gap (as a percentage)

Each data set includes regional level data of:

  • North America
  • Western Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
  • Russia & Eastern Europe
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Sub-Saharan Africa

And national level data of:

  • Canada
  • United States
  • France
  • Italy
  • Germany
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • UK
  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Brazil
  • Russia

Companies Referenced

  • Adecco Group
  • Barrat developments Plc
  • Barefoot College
  • BetterUp
  • BRC
  • CATL
  • Currys
  • Deloitte
  • DHL
  • Elephant Vert
  • Giobert
  • Greggs
  • Hongping
  • HP
  • IEA
  • ILO
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • John Lewis Group
  • Leeds University
  • LinkedIn
  • Make UK
  • McKinsey and Company
  • MSC Cruises
  • NHS England
  • OECD
  • Plymouth University
  • Skyline Taskforce
  • The United Nations
  • United Nations Industrial Development Organisation
  • University of Exeter
  • WEF
  • WWF

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All reports are subject to Zero Carbon Academy's standard market research terms, which can be viewed here.