First published: 21/02/2024 -

Last updated: 21/03/2024 -

Verified by our Editorial Panel

Green Education, Skills & Careers

A little more green education – for people of all ages – will help Wales build a skilled workforce to meet the climate change challenges ahead. 

For those working or looking to work, this page will provide you with information on what you can do to build green skills and explore a new climate-friendly career path.  

Around a quarter (27%) of working adults in Great Britain reported in May 2023 that they would describe any part of their job as a "green job", while around 1 in 20 (4%) reported that all or most of their job relates to "green" activities.

Green jobs and green skills

The world of work is changing – everyone will need to grow their skills to meet that challenge to support the economy and support the climate.  

Our approach in Wales is simple: as we transition to Net Zero we recognise that all jobs will change, some to a greater degree than others. Our focus is on providing the right skills and opportunities to help support our net zero challenges and create growth. To raise awareness of the upskilling opportunities that currently exist, we all need to understand the future skills needs and to inspire the workforce of the future. 

What can we do?

Begin by learning where to find trustworthy and reliable information on climate change, keep in touch with what’s being taught in schools as a way to understand the green skills focuses for future generations, and tap into the range of support available for developing essential green skills in your own working life.

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Build knowledge 

There are numerous resources online designed to help us deepen our understanding of climate change. Check the Natural Resources Wales website for a useful overview, and the BBC for regularly published news and simple guides on climate change. Public Health Wales has an easy-to-understand series of infographics too, and the Met Office shares information to help us learn more about changing weather patterns. For more technical information on climate change, read the progress reports published by the Climate Change Committee. And find courses tailored to improving climate and nature literacy on the Cynnal Cymru website. Having a grasp of the situation is an essential first step.

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Discover green jobs of the future 

Careers Wales shares information on some of the industries that will drive Welsh economy in the future, and what future jobs will look like. From a global perspective, The World Economic Forum sets out how making smart decisions today could set young people up for success in the green jobs of tomorrow.

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Explore new skills 

The Welsh Government Net zero skills in Wales outlines green careers and retraining opportunities, new job roles and growing jobs, as well as how different careers impact the climate emergency and what industries are doing to meet climate challenges.

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Planning and preparing for a career 

Careers Wales provides support for planning a climate-friendly career and preparing for new green job opportunities. They help with apprenticeships too, as a way to gain qualifications while working and earning

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Apply for a green personal learning account (PLA) 

A green PLA allows you to upskill or retrain in sectors that support Wales’ net zero journey – including fully-funded and flexible part-time courses to work around existing responsibilities.  

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Opportunities for Children 

The Welsh Government supports a range of initiatives to help educate children on climate change. Eco-Schools and Size of Wales are leading environmental organisations working with over 90% of schools across Wales. The educational, pupil-led, real-world programmes get schools, young people, families and the wider community involved in hands-on environmental projects. Another initiative – the Sustainable Schools Challenge  – shines a spotlight on exemplar Welsh schools delivering inspiring sustainability projects

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Businesses leading the way

Businesses across Wales are already doing great work – particularly those that invest in green skills opportunities for their staff. Many workplaces also employ union environmental representatives (or ‘green reps’) to work with members and management on a wide range of green workplace initiatives. Find further information around net zero skills and support for businesses here.  

Why take action?

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New jobs and economic growth:

In its Net zero skills action plan, the Welsh Government has committed to invest in the people, skills and talent needed to drive the green economy. So we’ll see the opportunity for good jobs for more people – of all ages – lifting many out of poverty and narrowing the skill divide.  

As the number and popularity of green jobs continues to rise, there’ll be many routes to securing one – from academic qualifications, to learning on the job through apprenticeships. 

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Green skills will be in demand

All jobs have the potential to help us meet our net zero commitment. It’s not all about environmental science and innovation; skills will also be needed throughout the public and private sector, across a range of disciplines – from construction, farming and architecture, to teaching and administrative roles. Upskilling now could put you at an advantage as the number of green job opportunities increases.

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Connect with and restore nature

To tackle the biodiversity crisis, new skills will be needed within the nature sector. Peatland restoration, native woodland expansion, tree planting, landscape gardening, wildlife biology – many of these jobs will involve working outside, bringing benefits to our physical and mental health.

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Find purpose in work

The future economy will rely on reusing, repairing and repurposing. This transformation will see new kinds of creative, purposeful and fulfilling jobs, that will improve health and wellbeing, empower communities and inspire future generations.  

Revamped recycling Education Room for children

Wastesavers’ recycling Education Room benefits future generations through interactive learning & green skill development.

Find out more

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