where are the “green jobs” expected with the ecological transition?

The government keeps repeating it: the ecological transition is one of the “important priorities” of the executive. The Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, hugs him to the “full employment”auxiliary “mobilities” and at “economic development”. Often presented as a lever for growth, it also allows the net creation of around one million jobs by 2050, according to estimates by Ademe, the French Environment and Environmental Management Agency. energy.

The Shift Project, a think tank specializing in energy transition, gives the figure of 300 000 net jobs created by 2050, in a carbon-free economy, if France meets its climate objectives. Behind this estimate : 1.1 million creations and 800 000 destruction. But where are these famous “green jobs” today? ? And where are they destined to develop in the coming decades ?

These jobs related to the ecological transition fall into two categories. First, the so-called “green” professions, with an environmental purpose, such as forest guards or river maintenance workers, as explained by Pôle emploi. Some 140 000 people are affected in France (i.e. 0.5% of total employment), according to the latest figures presented in France’s 2021 environmental report (PDF).

After this first circle are the so-called “greening” professions, according to the expression used by the Ministry of Ecological Transition. These are jobs affected by the transition, without having a direct environmental purpose. About 3.8 million people are affected in France in various sectors : construction, transport, industry, research and development, agriculture. It can be the architect who perfects himself on the new environmental standards, the automobile worker who is trained in the maintenance of electric vehicles or the designer of eco-packaging. In total, green and greening professions represent 14.5% of employment in all professions, according to the ministry.

Other organisations, such as the National Observatory for Jobs and Professions in the Green Economy (Onemev), also make a distinction between “eco-activities” and “peripheral activities”, for example, which proves the difficulty of defining professions related to environmental issues. Corn, “whatever the approach adopted, the volumes of jobs identified as carriers of the ecological transition are low”slice the Center for Studies and Research on Qualifications (Cereq).

While the number of jobs remains low, the dynamics of job creation however, is strong in several areas. Three sectors ont recorded a 72% increase in jobs since 2006, according to Ademe (PDF) : them “low-energy and low-emission land transport”them “renewable and recovered energy” and the“energy efficiency of the residential building”. In this trio, which accumulated 357 000 full-time equivalents (FTEs) in 2019, more than half of FTEs focus on the renovation of residential buildings. Insee also confirms that the construction sector accounts for 37% of employment in greening professions.

And the activity is not lacking. some 500 000 energy renovations are taken into account in 2022. And 800 000 MaPrimeRénov’ files are expected by the end of the year, according to the government site France Renov’. He also announces that 150 000 jobs related to energy renovation are available in the construction industry.

Problem : at the same time, strong tension is affecting employment in the construction industry. “There is a very clear shortage. The whole point is to prepare for this shortage which will worsen”alert to franceinfo Frédérick Mathis, president of the School of Ecological Transition, which trains in the manual trades of the transition.

“Training and skills development is the bottleneck of the ecological transition.”

Frédérick Mathis, president of the School of Ecological Transition

at franceinfo

The stakes are high for manual trades. Nearly a third (31%) of people whose profession is green or greening have a CAP/BEP level diploma, compared to 24% for all professions. This proportion can be explained by the high number of workers in the sectors concerned. “It’s been sixty years that manual trades have been devalued, but there is potential, well-paid jobs. And there can be meaning” in relation to the environmental question, adds Frédérick Mathis, citing the example of welders, essential, in particular, for wind turbines.

However, the ecological transition does not forget higher education graduates. It concerns in particular engineers who work in greening industries (such as the automobile or aeronautics). These profiles (bac+3, bac+5) are for example used in research and development, industry (quality control and industrial design), purchasing, but also in the field of design, according to the Ministry of the ecological transition.

Consultants are also becoming greener, like Thomas Binet, economist and agricultural engineer by training. With his firm Vertigo Lab, committed to environmental issues, Isupporting companies and communities in the ecological transition with the help of specialists in econometrics (a branch of economics focused on figures), accountants and even data analysts.

“The heart of the ecological transition reactor goes through the numbers. It is absolutely necessary to count to support it.”

Thomas Binet, economist and agronomist

at franceinfo

“We measure the impact. We did it on the bike, food waste”, he illustrates. It also concerns having worked for the city of Poitiers and its agglomeration on “the socio-economic impact of the place of the plane on the department, its carbon footprint, the impact of flights. Tailor-made, on proposal, on defended scenarios and the decision-makers decide”he summarizes.

The ecological transition is also giving rise to new hats, such as that of “biodiversity project manager”. Companies have an impact on the environment, but also an impact on biodiversity, on species, fauna and flora. They have to limit it.exposes, at the specialized site Studyrama, Armand de Coussergues, president of the Higher Institute of the environment. He also mentions the “low carbon project manager”. His role is to ensure that his company’s projects respect the objectives of the National Low Carbon Strategy, the French roadmap for following the Paris agreement.

The professions of tomorrow are emerging, but France Strategy nuances the picture. “There is no massive creation of ‘truly new’ professions linked to the ecological transition”, assembled the autonomous institution placed with the Prime Minister, in 2021. The rare new professions are mainly concentrated in sectors such as that of renewable energies. In effect“these specific professions often come down to a high level of qualification : new technologies, specialized or hybrid skills”.

The Cereq goes in the same direction, rapporteur as different analyzes “did not reveal new professions as such, but highlighted different recompositions of skills”. A wave of conversions, in short.

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