Commentary: Youth in Asia want green jobs but companies aren’t delivering

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SINGAPORE: The idea of creating a more sustainable world has great appeal to young people across the world, but nowhere more so than in Asia Pacific (APAC). 

In a 2022 Accenture survey, 77 per cent of APAC individuals aged 15 to 39 said they wanted to work in the green economy within 10 years, compared to 57 per cent in Europe and 52 per cent in the US.

While APAC youth still want good pay, stability and opportunity, they also want to help their economies transition to cleaner transportation, decarbonise or switch to sustainable agriculture and land use. 

Companies can and must bank on this demand for green jobs. They cannot attract fresh talent through traditional corporate citizenship initiatives such as annual donation drives, beach clean-ups and environmental pledges alone. APAC youth are looking to work on the cutting edge and firms must appeal to that desire.

But many solutions to the climate crisis like clean hydrogen and carbon capture, utilisation and storage – are nascent or may not even exist yet. So roles specifically structured around these solutions are scant. 

Compounding the issue is that where jobs do exist – and where green talent is most needed – are industries young workers find least attractive. 

By 2030, Accenture expects some 6.5 million jobs to be created to produce renewable energy to power grids in Australia,...

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