Meeting Skill Needs for the Global Green Transition: A Role for Labour Migration?

The green transition will generate an enormous demand for workers. This paper reviews demand for, and supply of, skills relevant to the green transition in five countries in the Global South and five in the Global North. It focuses on the installation and maintenance workforce needed in two sectors: solar photovoltaic panels and heat pumps. It finds that in almost all of the 10 countries studied, supply of the necessary skilled workers is unlikely to meet demand. In particular, Global North countries, which must cut more emissions sooner, face challenges in obtaining sufficient workers against a backdrop of ageing populations. If green transition targets are to be met, migration is likely to be needed as a complement to domestic training and reskilling. Given that the shortage of green-skilled workers is global, however, migration must be accompanied by support for training and retaining workers at home.

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