ILO report on jobs in the green transition | Knowledge Hub | Circle Economy Foundation
Article / Report
ILO report on jobs in the green transition

This report by the international labour organisation takes stock of 32 countries around the globe, using multi-regional input-output analysis to model the transactions between 163 industries and quantify the skills needed to transition to sustainable energy and a circular economy. The report identifies the need for reskilling and upskilling to bring the green transition to fruition. It also analyses changes in occupations, skill gaps and shortages in meeting the skills demand of this transition, and highlights the progress made since 2011 in the surveyed countries. Finally, it cites the specific needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups to transition smoothly, as well as the skills policy makers should possess to support the process.


The report outlines how the climate is changing: greenhouse gas emissions and pollution are steadily rising due to unsustainable economic growth patterns that exploit natural resources. Global carbon dioxide levels have reached record levels, and biodiversity loss, desertification, sea level rise and changing climates are threatening livelihoods around the globe.


The report highlights how the green transition can be leveraged to create millions of jobs—but how this would also necessitate extensive investments in reskilling. The report finds that extra attention must be paid to gender disparities, and that the shifting job market is most likely to impact male workers with mid-skill jobs. Men in these positions will thus need the most reskilling and upskilling to tap into new opportunities. Of all jobs around the globe, just 2% were predicted to be affected by a transition to energy sustainability and the circular economy—and for most of these opportunities, workers can be reskilled to acquire new positions. 


The ILO predicts that the green transition will create about 25 million new jobs, while 7 million will be lost; of this latter figure, 5 million can ‘be reclaimed through labour reallocation’, meaning that workers can find jobs in the same occupation, but a different industry. By transitioning to a circular economy, up to 8 million new jobs can be created by 2030.

Relevant links
Related articles

Circular Jobs: The Circular Economy and Opportunities for Employment in the Netherlands

Waste management in Europe. Good jobs in the circular economy?

Robedrijf - Segregating tasks for inclusive jobs