A green future for Wales: Over 60,000 jobs could be created in the green economy by 2022

A report published by Careers Wales, the national careers advice service in Wales, reveals more than 60,000 new green jobs could be created by 2022 within the Welsh economy.

Careers Wales’ recent ‘Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labour market in Wales’ report shows how the transformation towards a greener economy will lead to a growing eco-industry and, ultimately, to greater employment opportunities in Wales.

Green jobs are increasing as businesses work to comply with environmental impact policies. A ‘green job’ encompasses roles that deliver goods and services which are likely to help the UK generate lower emissions of greenhouse gases, the ‘greening’ of existing jobs, and the development of green skills.

Careers Wales report analysing Wales’ green economy during 2020-21 identifies the increase in demand for green jobs from online job postings across 366 job titles for the sector.  A 72% increase in the number of ‘green jobs’ over the last five years is a good indicator of increased job opportunities.

Wales TUC estimate over 60,000 indirect and 45,500 direct jobs could be created as part of the green recovery over a 2-year period with government investment in key projects.

Having the right skills and training in place will be crucial for ensuring a green future for Wales in delivering good quality livelihoods whilst supporting rapid decarbonisation and improving biodiversity.

The most in-demand green jobs by unique employer postings over the last year in Wales include:

  • Recycling Managers with 244 postings
  • Environmental Health officers with 89 postings
  • Environmental health and safety specialists with 89 posting.

While there has been a strong increase in demand for specific green jobs, these roles are only a small share of the rising green demand. Wider green skills across jobs in other sectors are increasing at an even more rapid pace, with around 70,000 more green skills career opportunities available in the UK from 2018 to 2021.

As well as being its own specialist sector, the ‘greening’ of existing roles means green skills and jobs are in demand in other industries such as construction, manufacturing, engineering and science, as businesses transition to comply with various statutory obligations relating to social impact, reducing waste and omissions and the race to achieve net zero globally.

There is high demand for green jobs in skilled technical trades such as energy efficiency, environmental services, and renewable energy, as well as job prospects at the lower end of the skills spectrum including process and machine operatives in environmental services.

When looking at the advertised salaries for all jobs against green jobs over the last 5 years in Wales, Careers Wales’ report shows how, on average, green job postings paid £1,504 more than others, with green jobs averaging a salary of £26,644 per annum.

Nikki Lawrence, Chief Executive at Careers Wales, said: “It’s great to see the demand for talent with green jobs and skills increase as businesses develop their commitments and actions to achieve climate and sustainability goals.

“The environmental transformation will expose skills gaps, offering wider job opportunities to the young people of Wales, as well as for those looking to change their career or upskill and grow in their current role within businesses adjusting to a greener economy.”

Sophie Howe, the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, said: “The national political agenda towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions is accelerating the demand for specialists and new ‘green’ jobs are emerging across all sectors.

“Reports highlight the substantial growth of the green economy, especially in the last two years, and this is set to progress with the level of job creation being significant compared to existing numbers.

“The growing industry presents a great opportunity for young people in Wales to enter a new world of work, with the potential to provide long-term employment and create greener communities for us all.”

Careers Wales provides inclusive and impartial careers guidance and coaching service to the people of Wales. From helping you to plan your career and preparing to get a job, to finding and applying for the right apprenticeships, courses and training, Careers Wales experts are available to provide you with personalised careers support tailored to you.

Is there a particular green job that interests you? Search ‘Careers Wales Job Information’ to find out what the job involves, what the pay is like, and how to get in. You can also browse through a number of green industries such as Energy and Utilities and Environmental and Conservation to explore other green careers you could enter.

For more information search Careers Wales, call free on 0800 028 4844, speak via the webchat, or email post@careerswales.gov.wales.