Green Jobs: a different perspective

With David

Cameron’s comments on green jobs in mind, I came across this interesting

perspective on job creation from Andrew Winston. He believes that

we’ve been talking about the new economy jobs entirely the wrong way.

He says,

“Admit it, what do you picture when you hear the phrase “green jobs”?

Mainly solar installers and wind turbine mechanics, right? In a recent, skeptical

Newsweek article, the author laments that “green-tech workers – people who

do things like design and build wind turbines or solar panels – now make up

only 0.6 percent of the American workforce.” When described this way,

pursuing green jobs doesn’t seem like much of an economic growth plan.

“Those clearly

defined green jobs do lie at the core of this new world, and they are in fact

growing fast, sometimes literally replacing what came before……But there are

more subtle shifts in labor going on as companies that did one thing in the old

economy are finding their skills useful in the new one. Another company, Global

Marine Energy, has been installing and maintaining undersea cables for over 150

years. After serving the telecom and oil & gas industries for decades, it’s

now also stringing cable to offshore wind farms all over Europe.

“A new green

economy is just that…a whole new economy, with job openings at all skill

levels, from truck drivers to inventors of new battery chemistries. The solar

or wind installer is just the tip of a very large iceberg that’s coming our

way. Will we let it pass by or take our piece?”