Impetus to green skills for unlocking circular economy
Photo : PTI
Authored by: Kundan Kumar, Gagan Preet Kaur
Green Economy results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities (
Underpinning Green Jobs sector
“Green Businesses” comprising of subsectors such renewable energy, energy storage, green construction, green transportation, solid waste including plastic and e-waste management, waste water management, constitute green jobs sector: Some examples of the jobs in sector as follows:
Renewable Energy: To make transition low carbon economy, more skilled people are needed in jobs such as manufacturing and installation of solar panels, solar water heaters, inverters etc.
Waste management sector: With an unceasing growth of consumerism, waste management is a pressing issue specifically in developing and least developing countries. Skills for management of solid waste wastewater, plastic waste and e-waste are imperative to address the looming problem of waste management. Further related activities such as collection, segregation, safe disposal, construction and maintenance of septic and waste water treatment plants also require specialised skill training.
Green transportation: Emergence of new technologies such as EV, green hydrogen could have implications for employment not just in transport sector but also in sectors that provide the necessary inputs, such as manufacturing. The changes in production, structure, service delivery will contribute to increased demand of skilled labour force.
Urban farming: Due to construction of buildings, urban areas are fast losing its green lungs and ambient temperature are rising. In order to address this issue, urban farming practices such as urban forestry and roof-top gardening are rapidly becoming a trend, thereby giving an impetus to skilled workforce in specific areas.
Skill training enablers for transition towards Circular economy
Some green skilling enablers are as follows:
- Developing training modules, qualifications for new green skills demanded sector/industry wise, this would give cues to new technologies, career pathways, upskilling/reskilling interventions required.
- Focus on inclusion of green competencies in existing job roles. These competencies could focus on reduced environmental impact through production, use and consumption of goods and services.
Promoting private partnerships can play an important role in spurring research, innovation and identify market needs. Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) potentially provide a useful framework under which the public and private sectors can pool and coordinate their financial and technological resources. These resources can be used for productive implementation of green technologies through effectively nurtured green skills.
Mainstreaming pro-environment behaviours in world of work is an essential instrument for sustainable development. It imperative to inculcate the fundamentals of sustainability within the workplace and communities as an integral part of local or community-based development. This includes encouraging green practices that contribute to reducing the environmental impact of business practices thus embedding sustainability as a principle in enterprise operations.
Very recently Hon’ble Prime Minister launched Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE) Mission, which is envisioned as an India-led global mass movement that will nudge individual and collective action to protect and preserve the environment. Such pro-environment programmes including Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME II), Grid connected solar rooftop programme are creating a large number of green job opportunities in sectors such as green transportation, waste management, sanitation and renewable energy. An integrated and systemic approach is crucial for realising the potential of green jobs sector as it promises great potential to employ trained workforce.
Transition towards green and circular economy will trigger changes in technology, demographic trends, job market, thus creating the need for new qualifications and skillsets in green jobs sector.
(Kundan Kumar is Advisor, Skill Development and Employment,