Irish firms struggle to recruit for ‘Green Jobs’

Some 40% of employees think that sustainability jobs are not well-paid. Picture: iStock

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Businesses in Ireland are struggling to fill a rapidly growing number of sustainability-related or ‘Green Jobs’ due to a skills shortage.

Data from recruitment site Indeed show that since February 2019, there has been a 93% increase in the number of green jobs posted in Ireland. However, searches for these roles have decreased by 7% over the same period, indicating a mismatch in demand and supply.

Based on a survey of employers, 72% said they currently have a department or manager dedicated to sustainability or ESG (Environmental Social Governance), with 68% of those having sizable teams between six to 15 members. Those in architecture, building, and engineering were most likely to have the biggest ESG departments.

However, employers also cited a number of challenges in finding the right people. These included a lack of candidates with the right skills (33%) and not being sure of where to find them (28%).

Others cited issues such as “not enough budget” (37%), a fear of being perceived to be ‘greenwashing’ (30%) and a lack of understanding within their organisation of how such jobs would improve their business (38%).

When examining worker perceptions of the sector, the survey found that the majority (63%) thought these types of roles were only found within certain industries.

Some 40% of employees think that sustainability jobs are not well-paid, however 59% believe that jobs in the sector are interesting and varied.

A total of 77% of workers said younger generations should be encouraged and incentivised to work in the sustainability sector.

Contrary to job postings data, 30% felt there weren’t enough job opportunities in the area, further indicating a mismatch between jobseeker perceptions and employer needs.

“People are not fully aware of job opportunities and tend to consider themselves unprepared in this area, Jack Kennedy, Senior Economist at Indeed said.

“The positive news is that the majority of workers are open to retraining in the area of sustainability. Together with policy and training initiatives, companies will play a key role in the development of talent pipelines in this area.


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