Most Indian youth look for green future - GulfToday

Most Indian youth look for green future

Meena Janardhan

Writer/Editor/Consultant. She has over 25 years of experience in the fields of environmental journalism and publishing.

India Startup

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Young people in India, and internationally, want careers that will help solve some of the world’s biggest challenges, as highlighted by new research by the Prince’s Trust, founded by Britain’s Prince Charles.

The initial findings from the ‘Future of Work’ international research report, supported by the HSBC, found that 85% of young people in India are interested in a green job, despite only four per cent having their main job in the sector, and 84% of Indian youth surveyed believe their generation can create solutions to some of society’s biggest challenges.

According to the survey results, 85% of young people surveyed in India considered the most probable way to do this with a green economy (36%) and health and social care (35%).

“Young people, at the end of the day, want to be agents of change in efforts to prevent and adapt to the climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis and for what it’s worth, I believe it is our responsibility to help them achieve this, if we possibly can,” said Prince Charles, as he joined international business leaders at an event at St James’ Palace in London recently to discuss the role that business can play in creating sustainable job opportunities for the future.

The research, which surveyed young people across four continents, including in India, highlights that young people want to become agents of change in the face of the climate crisis. The results show that four in five (83%) of the young people surveyed in India consider the environmental impact of the company or sector they are trying to participate in when choosing a job. Emerging industries such as digital are also on the agenda for young people, with 83% also pointing out their interest in working within the digital economy.

The Prince’s Trust International has been active in India since 2018 and is working with local partners such as Magic Bus and Aga Khan Foundation to develop employability and enterprise programmes to help young people across India learn, work and prosper. Charities said they are working with their partners to contribute to the more sustainable future jobs of young people.

The time to downplay climate change is gone. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) had called for urgent worldwide action on climate change, including the need to support climate education and awareness raising during its Earth Day celebrations.

The transition to a carbon-neutral economy will require new skills, training and qualifications. Many new jobs will emerge. Others will have to adapt. This makes climate education for the current and future workforce a priority that countries need to urgently address.

“The effects of climate change will alter the structure of employment. New jobs and new job families will emerge, others will disappear or become unsustainable, and enterprises will have to find ways to organize work and production differently,” the ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder had said. He added, “We need to prepare the youth to this changing world. Environmental education can empower students to solve the climate crisis and develop the skills, optimism and resolve to lead the environmental movement of tomorrow.”

The ILO estimates that rising heat due to climate change could lead to the loss of 80 million jobs by 2030, with poor countries worst hit. Taking ambitious action to tackle climate change can deliver more and better jobs, with a potential for 18 million net jobs by 2030, through measures in the energy sector.

Enterprises will need well-trained workers, equipped with the right set of skills to reduce the carbon-intensity of production. They will need to invest in preparing their workers for new and challenging technical and technological change, making the workplace a place of continuous learning in the ecological transition.

Social dialogue is also an essential tool in ensuring a smooth shift in occupational skills training to facilitate workers’ mobility and ensure their social protection in a rapidly changing world of work.

Another ILO report had said that if young people are to benefit from the changing nature of the world of work, they need to be prepared, both in terms of skills attainment and level of ambition and aspiration. The aspirations of youth are essential to their human capital investment, educational choices and labour market outcomes. Understanding aspirations is important when developing effective employment policies. If the career aspirations and life goals of youth are not considered, employment policies aiming to “match” skills with labour market opportunities may continue to fail young people.

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