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Three out of four APAC youth want to work in green economy

Accenture's latest research report has found 77% of youth in the Asia Pacific want a job in the green economy over the next decade.

The study also found more than half think they will be able to do so within five years.

Accenture says companies in APAC should be thinking about how to move towards environmentally sustainable outcomes.

Its growth markets CEO Gianfranco Casati says many companies have started by making public commitments to sustainability.

“The challenge is now for companies to move quickly enough to appeal to this talent and design jobs that allow youth to make a lasting difference,” he says.

“They have to execute by prioritising green economy activities: the kind that has a primary purpose of protecting or restoring the environment while creating new employment opportunities.

According to Accenture's modelling of job creation, it is estimated the number of green jobs in Australia, China, India, Indonesia and Japan could grow by 62%, reaching 32.6 million by 2030.

More than 12 million jobs are expected to be in transportation, and almost 10 million more jobs will come from increasing the supply of low-carbon electricity, especially in the form of renewable energy.

Accenture says as the demand and supply of green jobs continue to grow, companies need to be aware of three imperatives.

1. Genuine commitment

Discerning and critical, young people are highly sensitive to superficial attempts at greenwashing, so companies that demonstrate a genuine commitment to a green-economy transition can appeal to young people. Accenture suggests companies create new green businesses that are decoupled from legacy businesses and build internal capabilities for sustainability across all business divisions, which could include introducing and tracking new sustainability KPIs.

2. New jobs and creative freedom

Accenture says current sustainability challenges demand fresh, hybrid solutions and companies need to bring in a mosaic of talent profiles into new types of teams. This might be required in unusual combinations such as chemical engineering-plus-innovation and climate science-plus-AI. However, Accenture says simply building such a talent pool won't suffice. It says the most innovative companies will go one step further by offering employees the creative freedom to bring their ideas to life using the latest instruments such as advanced data platforms and analytical tools and new technologies.

3. Include everyone

Accenture says not all green jobs require advanced degrees. Instead, many green skills will be needed in entry-level roles and require vocational qualifications. Based on its research, the company says youth in the region are eager to receive the specialised training these jobs require. For companies, this creates unique opportunities to invest in upskilling or reskilling young workers.

Accenture's report, Youthquake Meets Green Economy, surveyed 29,500 young people aged between 15 and 39 years old in 18 countries: Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States and Vietnam.

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