The building renovation programme for energy efficiency in Germany has already mobilised €100 billion in investments, reducing energy bills, avoiding carbon dioxide emissions and creating around 300,000 direct jobs per year, according to a new report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The drive for revamping Europe's building stock has already had a profound impact on employment even if much remains to be done to fulfil the promise of green jobs, experts warn.
Speaking at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Leterme said the shift to green jobs will not happen without a related effort to adapt workers' skills and training.
"Green skills appear to be hugely needed," he said. "But there is no need to reinvent the wheel," Leterme added. "Most of the green skills that new market entrants will require can be met through incremental enrichment of educational and training programmes." Experts in the property management sector confirmed that the jobs market for green skills was still largely underdeveloped. “There is a lack of professionalism in Europe,” said Laura Lindberg, Public Relations Manager for global property professional body RICS. “It is extremely important...to take into consideration what we have – a lack of skills and professional training which needs to be better understood,” Lindberg added.
“There is interest out there, but I don't think people are rushing for it, they are being cautious at this time. There is a trust issue,” said Martin Russel of RICS London.
He added, however, that on balance, the market in Europe for energy efficiency accreditation has been picking up and as long as there is enough demand there will also be an economic rationale for professionals to regain their appetite.