Thursday 18 July 2024
 
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Ali Matar

About 60pc of UAE Gen Z professionals want green job: LinkedIn

DUBAI, 15 days ago

Gen Z professionals in the UAE are climate conscious and eager to positively contribute to the climate action agenda, even though they don’t quite have the necessary green skills yet compared to their peers from other generations.  
 
According to LinkedIn’s data, the UAE ranks 2nd in Mena in terms of average green talent concentration across generations (Gen Z, Millennial, Gen X and Boomers). 
 
However, Gen Z professionals are underrepresented in having green skills compared to other cohorts. Looking at the contribution of each generation to the green workforce in the UAE, the data also reveals that the highest green talent concentration is found in Millennials, with this generation making up 65% of green skilled professionals. Only 15% of green skilled professionals are Gen Z. 
 
Climate change is growing in importance among Gen Z
The implications of climate change are front of mind for Gen Z professionals. 72% of Gen Z professionals in the UAE have expressed their concern about the impact of climate change, with another 56% saying that climate change is having a negative impact on their mental health - known as “eco-anxiety”.
 
This “eco-anxiety” has prompted Gen Z to take matters into their own hands, with LinkedIn’s research showing that over half of Gen Z respondents have made changes to their daily lives to minimize their carbon footprint (59%). A close 61% said that they now keep the environment in mind in making most of their daily decisions.
 
This mindset has trickled across to the workplace, with Gen Z evaluating their professional decisions through an environmentally conscious lens. So much so that 61% of Gen Z professionals said they would consider turning down a job opportunity if they do not believe in the employer’s green policies. 
 
Moreover, the majority (59%) are interested in working in a green job over the next five years. This interest is driven by their desire to protect the environment (57%), their belief that there are good opportunities in green jobs (51%), and the potential for better financial compensation (49%). 
 
Gen Z professionals need integrated support
Despite this overwhelming interest in green jobs, Gen Z professionals lack awareness of the green career paths available to them. 
 
LinkedIn research highlights that only 3 in 10 Gen Z professionals in the UAE have a good awareness of the available green roles, while 63% of them believe that there’s a general lack of green opportunities in the labour market. Only 16% believe adequate training is available to them to acquire green skills that would help them compete for these roles. 
 
The UAE has been steadfast in its support for youth-led climate action. The United Nations Climate Summit (COP28) in Dubai offered a unique platform to expand youth participation in climate change policymaking through the International Youth Climate Delegates Programme. But on a more granular level, climate progress could be hindered unless green jobs become easier to access. This will require targeted action by businesses and policymakers in order to prepare young professionals with the skills and knowledge they need to integrate into green roles. 
 
This sentiment is echoed by Gen Z themselves, as 62% of them in the UAE say that financial support, and more than 50% say that employer-driven programmes and government incentives would encourage them to complete green skills training. 
 
Ali Matar, EMEA Growth Markets Leader at LinkedIn, says: “Gen Z professionals are projected to represent over a quarter of the international labour force by 2025, so it is important that employers listen more closely to them. This generation is unyielding in their demand for green policies that match their values from their employers and decision-makers, and they are becoming increasingly aware of their role in addressing environmental issues. The first step for them is to acquire the green skills that would enable them to do so; an endeavour that would require the full weight of the labour market actors.”
 
Recommendations
To this end, Ali shares the below recommendations:
●Businesses looking to green their workforce must take a skills-based approach to their talent strategies. This means identifying the skills their business will need to achieve their climate goals, hiring based on these skills rather than just their previous job title or academic qualifications, and implementing tailored and targeted skills programmes and on-the-job training to bring in and develop younger workers. 
 
●For younger workers looking to break into green jobs, there are also steps they can take. For instance, strengthening their digital and STEM skills. LinkedIn data shows these will increase workers’ chances of successfully transitioning into green jobs. 
 
●Policymakers will also need to explore how they can forge partnerships to help transition workers into green jobs. And as countries introduce and roll out legislation to curb climate change by allocating funding toward green jobs, they’ll need to consider how to pair these mandates with appropriate levels of workforce training for every generation.--TradeArabia News Service
 



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