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Pact for Skills
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Doing green things: skills, reallocation, and the green transition

Through this paper, the OECD examines the readiness of workforces for the rapid transition to a low-carbon economy, using detailed data to assess the availability of green skills and the potential to redeploy workers from "brown" to "green" jobs.


Publication date
4 July 2023
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development


In this paper, the OECD discusses whether countries’ workforces possess the essential skills needed to rapidly decarbonize economies and transition workers from environmentally harmful ("brown") jobs to environmentally friendly ("green") employment. This paper employs a task-based framework, using detailed data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) and country-specific employment sources, to create new indicators for understanding the green skills landscape of labour markets in numerous OECD and non-OECD EU countries. The analysis reveals substantial variations across countries in the availability of green skills and the potential for economies to shift workers from brown to green jobs within broad occupational categories. In many brown occupations, workers already possess the necessary skills to make the transition to green jobs, except for those in production roles, who may require more extensive retraining. Conversely, workers in highly automatable occupations generally lack the skills needed for transitioning to green jobs, implying limited opportunities for the net-zero transition to reemploy workers displaced by automation.

OECD Economics Department Working Papers


17 NOVEMBER 2023
OECD Economics Department Working Papers