The study examined the effects of the green transition on the employment and competence needs in the process industry and the energy and construction sectors. Together, these sectors account for roughly 72% of the total emissions of Finnish industry.
Energy renovations and battery production require extra hands
The effects of the green transition on the employment of engineers were examined by assessing the investment paths marked out by low-carbon roadmaps in industry, in addition to other public materials.
Of the sectors examined in the report, the greatest need for skilled labour lies in the construction sector where increasingly common energy renovations will require approximately 1 000–1 600 more FTE/year.
In terms of the process industry, the focus was on green hydrogen and battery production. The electrification of society will create a demand for batteries and their recycling, which the study indicates will require the second largest number of new engineers, about 1 000–1 200 FTE/year. In light of the media attention and the investments already made, it is surprising that green hydrogen production will require the fewest new engineers, the equivalent of about 100–250 FTE/year. This is partly due to the highly automated production process of hydrogen.
The third highest demand for additional labour was in the energy sector where the production of renewable energy is estimated to create a demand for about 500–1 000 more FTE/year.
Green transition requires the skill to rapidly respond to changes
Many of the skills needed for the green transition are already widely taught by education providers in the industries under study. In addition to technical skills, the green transition will require investing in meta-skills, such as continuous learning, communication and interpersonal skills, teamwork and resilience.
– Although mathematics and science will continue to be the core areas of competence, the green transition will create even more complex working environments where you need to be able to cooperate with experts in different fields and find solutions based on diverse paradigms. The pace of development also requires resilience when it comes to learning new skills, says Jussi-Pekka Teini, Sustainable Technology Society Specialist at Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland TEK.