The study was prompted by acceptance of the magnitude and importance of the changes that the transition to a green economy will bring to the labour market. It analysed the green economy and green occupations, mapping out their relevance to Cyprus along with green skill needs for 30 economic sectors and 60 occupations across the spectrum of the national labour market.
According to the study, during 2017-27 total employment in those sectors with participation in the green economy of Cyprus will exhibit an upward trend. By 2027, around one out of five employed persons will work in such sectors. Total annual employment demand for the green economy is estimated at 4.1%, 1.7% expansion demand and 2.4% replacement demand, which corresponds to 22.7% of total employment demand for the Cyprus economy.
Most of those employed in occupations relevant to the green economy will work in the occupational category of technicians and professionals. The study also identifies the main areas of specialised knowledge and skills for these occupations: environmental legislation, renewable energy, circular economy, organic farming, climate change, waste management, smart sensors and nearly zero energy buildings. These will guide the design of specialised training programmes.
Among the identified green skills are new ones in new green technologies, environmental legislation and environmental issues that require a high degree of specialisation. These skills relate to smart sensors and automation, construction of nearly zero energy buildings, remediation of landfills, use of anti-pollution devices, corporate waste management systems, smart grids, climate change risks on the supply chain and green finance. However, most of the identified green skills relate to existing skills which have to be adapted to the needs of the green economy, in areas such as project management, strategic planning, entrepreneurship, process optimisation, human resource management and quality management.
The study offers specific suggestions for a planned and timely response to the future situation in the labour market resulting from the transition to a green economy. These include policies and activities in the areas of employment and human resource development, education and training. The latter may include stakeholder collaboration, revision of curricula, guidance and counselling, provision of new vocational education and training programmes which provide green knowledge and skills, and development of appropriate vocational qualifications.