‘Green jobs’ are quickly redefining traditional job roles and simultaneously creating new professions in a wide range of sectors such as construction, transport, energy supply, engineering and science. In particular, they have emerged as a response to global challenges linked to environmental protection, economic development and social inclusion.

The ‘Environmental Goods and Services Sector’ (EGSS) represents approximately 2% of total EU employment. It continues to grow across the EU, despite the current economic crisis. In addition, the European Commission’s ‘Employment Package’ (April 2012) identified the green economy as a key source of job creation and estimated that it could create 20 million new jobs by 2020.

According to the EU’s growth strategy (‘Europe 2020’), one of the key ongoing structural transformations to achieve ‘smart, inclusive and sustainable’ growth is the transition towards a green, low-carbon and resource-efficient economy. To this end, the ‘Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe’ (September 2011), which is part of the Resource Efficiency Flagship of the Europe 2020 Strategy, proposes ways to increase resource productivity and decouple economic growth from resource use and its environmental impact by 2050.

In its effort to meet this aim and to tackle the unprecedented unemployment rates, the EU has a pivotal role to play in fostering skills suitable for ‘green jobs’, promoting mobility and supporting industrial restructuring, in close cooperation with the social partners and the businesses.

To achieve this, the integration of environmental and employment policies is a great challenge for the ‘Europe 2020’ Strategy.

In July 2014, the Commission published the ‘Green Employment Initiative’ Communication, in order to underpin the employment challenges and opportunities towards the transition to the model of a ‘green economy’. This communication complemented the  ones on the ‘Circular Economy’ and on a ‘Green Action Plan for SMEs’, and presented an integrated framework  for employment and labour market polices at EU and national levels, highlighting the significance of:

  • Securing labour market transitions
  • Anticipating and establishing adequate skills policies to assist workers to adapt to structural changes
  • Making governance and partnership-based initiatives stronger

This timely international symposium provides an invaluable opportunity for delegates to examine the future of green growth in Europe by focusing on its economic, social and financial aspects. Delegates will explore how future skills-needs can be better anticipated to suit the market and how the green economy can be boosted by investing in green technologies and eco-innovation.

Delegates will:

  • Assess the latest policy developments and EU initiatives in the ‘green sector’
  • Consider the future of green jobs across the EU and explore green growth opportunities across Member States
  • Evaluate the impact of green growth on employment and the creation of new jobs and skills in line with green technologies
  • Explore opportunities for investments and funding to promote green entrepreneurship in Europe and review eco-innovation projects
  • Share best practices on the promotion of green jobs and professional training