1,000 18-24 year-olds from across the UK were polled online from 20-28 August 2018, on their understanding of opportunities in the green economy. The results have been weighted to be representative of this sub-section of the UK population.
Almost two-thirds (65%) say they would prefer a job in the green economy than one outside it – this equates to around 3,700,000 young people in the UK
Six in 10 18- to 24-year-olds are interested in a ‘green collar’ job (59%). This equates to more than 3,200,000 young people in the UK. Nearly one in five (17%) is very interested in securing a ‘green collar job’
When asked why they want to pursue a ‘green collar job’, 67% of young people say to help tackle climate change, 49% say to work in an ethical sector’ and 46% say to work in a growing sector
Young men are significantly more likely than their female counterparts to say they would be interested because they could earn a good salary (37% vs 29% of women) and it would mean working in an exciting sector (36% vs 26% of women).
Most young people (70%) underestimate the number of jobs likely that could be created in this part of the economy in the UK, with only one in ten (10%) correctly identifying that up to 2 million ‘green collar’ jobs could be created by 2030 – reflecting the fact the low carbon sector could grow four times faster than the rest of the economy. 7 in ten think there will be a million jobs or fewer created by 2030 – half the amount of the estimate
Most young people are unaware of the breadth of green collar jobs available. They associate the green economy with jobs such as wind turbine engineer, sustainability manager or car designer and don’t realise that an insurance broker or a financial analyst can also be part of the green economy.
Almost two-thirds (65%) of young men are interested in a ‘green collar’ job, compared to 54% of young women. Those young people from higher socio-economic groups are also more likely to be interested than those not (62% compared to 56%).
Affluent young men are more likely (65%) to want a ‘green collar’ job, while women from lower socio-economic groups are less likely to (49%).
Women are significantly more likely than men to say they do not know which jobs would be considered ‘green collar’ (9% of women vs 4% of men). Interestingly, men are significantly more likely than women to think that the following jobs would be part of the green economy: car designer (59% vs. 45%), nuclear engineer (53% vs. 41%), construction worker (44% vs. 34%), business owner/entrepreneur (40% vs. 32%) and civil servant (28% vs. 21%)
There was the same level of enthusiasm for green collar jobs across all of the English regions and the devolved nations.
The findings come ahead of the first Green GB Week, launching on 15 October. Green GB Week aims to highlight the opportunities of the global and domestic transition to low carbon/cleaner growth for businesses across the UK and raise understanding of how businesses and the public can contribute to tackling climate change.