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The future green labour market in the making

19 May 2021

A new strategic and ambitious project will map the need for green competencies in the Danish labour market to reach the goal of the green transition and make use of a historically significant potential for export and employment. 

It is already clear that Denmark will lack both skilled and academically educated labour within a concise number of years for the green transition. At worst, we are talking about a shortage of 100,000 employees in 2030 to handle green jobs, shows a new report prepared by Boston Consulting Group. This can create store problems for both the business enterprises and the development of the Danish welfare society. 

Without labour, we cannot realize the green transition and development stalled. Companies find it challenging to recruit the workforce they need to develop, produce, sell, and implement their green products and services partly because we in Denmark find it more difficult to contribute with the green solutions needed to scale the changeover in Denmark as globally. 

 That is why Denmark's green think tank CONCITO and the think thank Mandag Morgen have joined forces to map the green labour market of the future and describe what it takes for the labour market to follow a green transition. 

Provident funds and an occupational pension company have joined forces to finance the project. These are the Novo Nordisk Foundation, Industriens Fond and PensionDanmark. The project is two-year, has a financial framework of just over DKK 6 million. DKK and will start up in August 2021. The first year of the project period will be used primarily for the extensive analysis work, and the second year to anchor the results and create concrete management-oriented initiatives based on the new knowledge. 

 "The Novo Nordisk Foundation wants to contribute to the development of a knowledge-based and sustainable society. This requires i.a. training skilled employees with the right competencies to invent green solutions to society's challenges. With the support for CONCITO's and Tænketanken Monday Morning project, we want to contribute to creating new knowledge and debate on how we can strengthen education and competencies between both skilled and academic education workforce and in this way help to secure the future of the Danish labor market," says Berith Bjørnholm, Senior Vice President, Education & Outreach at the Novo Nordisk Foundation. 

From the project's other financial contributor, PensionDanmark, it reads: "Our members play an important role in the realization of the ambitious Danish green objectives. Therefore, we must map out which competencies are needed in the green labor market of the future. Then, with the help of the continuing education funds that PensionDanmark manages, we can ensure that the continuing education efforts are targeted at the new green job opportunities for our members and thus future-proof good Danish jobs," says CEO of PensionDanmark, Torben Möger Pedersen. 

 Finally, Thomas Hofman-Bang, CEO of Industriens Fond, says of the project: "At Industriens Fond, our clear goal is to strengthen companies' competitiveness, and where sustainability is becoming an increasingly crucial parameter. But without the right employees with the right skills, companies will find it difficult to develop their green profile and develop into tomorrow's global successful companies. We are very much looking forward to getting involved in the project in the coming years and not least to becoming wiser about where there is room for action so that we as a society succeed in the green transition." 

 As a key element in the project, a follow-up group has been established which currently consists of Danish Industry, Danish Business, Danish Employers' Association, Trade Union Main Organization, Akademikernes CentralorganisationIngeniørforeningen IDA, 3F, Blikog Rørarbejderforbundet, Dansk El-ForbundKommunernes Landsforening, Danske Regioner , Copenhagen Municipality, Danfoss, TEKNIQ Arbejdsgiverne, Danske Erhvervsskoler og -gymnasier and Akademiet for de Tekniske Videnskaber. 

The project, which brings together several leading forces across Danish society, is the first of its kind in Denmark and the rest of the world. The hope is that the project can show both Danish decision-makers and abroad how the green transition and the provision of the workforce for it can go hand in hand. 

 "Looking ahead, where the green transition must be significantly accelerated, it will be crucial that we maintain our leading position and a high level of ambition. But we must also make sure that we have control of the toolbox. It requires strong leadership, the right tools and, not least, that we have a labour market that supports that development. And here, the green competencies of the future play a crucial role. It also means that now we must take action if we are not to end up in a situation where it is the lack of competent labour that slows down the green transition," says director of CONCITO, Christian Ibsen. 

 "This is one of the most important building blocks needed to succeed with the green transition alongside funding, political action and commitment from all parts of Danish society. Denmark has always emphasized that there is no contradiction between thinking green and preserving or creating new jobs. But it requires that we educate and retrain for a green labour market, and that we begin that process now ", says strategy director of the Think Tank Monday Morning, Lisbeth Knudsen. 



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