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The Green Jobs Market in ASEAN

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The current issue of global warming has had an impact on our daily lives, as evident from this year’s summer temperature records in 2024, which are historically high and unprecedented. Predictions indicate that temperatures will rise even further over the next five years. Consequently, it is urgent that many countries are now focusing on addressing climate change.

ASEAN is focused on strengthening social protection for all age groups within its population, including vulnerable groups, and on developing its workforce to support green jobs. This is in accordance with the key principles of the ASEAN Declaration on Promoting Green Jobs for Equity and Inclusive Growth of ASEAN Community, which has been in effect since 2018 and has continuously pursued environmental initiatives.

This declaration represents the commitment of ASEAN member countries to promote environmentally friendly or “Green Jobs” for equity and inclusive growth across all sectors of society. It reflects sustainable development and the creation of jobs that support environmental conservation, help reduce pollution, use resources sustainably, and simultaneously build a stable and sustainable economy.

The goal is to promote jobs that enable ASEAN member countries to address climate change issues and to support investments and innovations in green technology, which will increase employment and create new opportunities for sustainable development.

Recently, the Ministry of Human Resources of Malaysia organized the ASEAN Green Jobs Forum 2024 on April 24-25, with the objective of promoting the development of green jobs. This aligns with the need for inclusive and sustainable economic development in the region. It also aims to foster ASEAN’s growth by developing a workforce ready for green jobs, based on the regional governments’ commitment to sustainability. This responds to the increasing demand for environmentally friendly products and services, and investment in renewable energy and green technologies.

Green job positions that will significantly grow in 2024 include renewable energy engineers, green architects, environmental scientists, sustainability experts to develop and implement sustainable policies and practices in organizations, experts in sustainable transportation, scientists in sustainable agriculture, waste management engineers, energy policy analysts supporting the use of sustainable energy and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and environmental education officers to raise awareness and increase public knowledge about environmental issues.

Therefore, to prepare ASEAN for green jobs, the government should promote technical education and vocational training in environmental management, and support education in related fields at both university levels and various educational institutions in ASEAN, such as environmental engineering, natural resource management, and sustainable development courses. In addition to academic education, individuals must also develop essential skills for green jobs, such as technical skills, problem-solving abilities, and communication skills. Furthermore, there should be support for internships, volunteer work, and other programs to help individuals gain the necessary experience to prepare for green jobs and to build networks with experts in the green sector. This will help individuals access job opportunities and career development.

Green jobs are a new professional field in workforce development in ASEAN and are becoming increasingly in demand in the labor market to support developments aimed at addressing climate change and sustainable development.

Author:
Ms. Namphueng Tassanaipitukkul
Senior Researcher
International Institute for Trade and Development (Public Organization)
www.itd.or.th
Publication: Bangkok BIZ Newspaper
Section: First Section/World Beat
Volume: 37 Issue:12636
Date: Wednesday, May 8, 2024
Page: 8 (bottom-left)
Column: “Asean Insight”

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