Created a year ago, updated a month ago

Introduction

The challenge of defining and analysing ‘green jobs’ has been well documented over recent years. More specifically, given their evolving, cross-cutting, and multifaceted nature, it has proven difficult to estimate both the number of – and consequently the demand for – these roles using traditional labour market data sources and taxonomies, such as standard occupational (SOC) or industrial classifications (SIC). However, addressing this knowledge gap is of critical importance, given London’s – and the UK’s – net zero ambitions. 

The dataset presented here seeks to at least partially fill this gap by adopting a novel approach to analysing online job postings data from Lightcast. By identifying and classifying postings as ‘green’ based on their job titles and specified skill requirements, job postings data can overcome some of the limitations of other data sources and serve as a useful, albeit imperfect, indicator of changing employer demand for green jobs and skills in London. 

From the outset, it is important to note that the definitions as to what constitutes a green skill or job title are experimental and are frequently reviewed and refined. As such, the data presented is subject to revision and is also likely to be only a partial representation of the overall demand for green jobs and skills in the labour market. A short note on the definitions used in this analysis as well as the inferential limitations of job postings data can be found at the bottom of this page, along with links to further resources. 


Key Points

  • Over the course of the last 12 months (Apr 2023 – Mar 2024), there were approximately 62,800 unique postings for jobs that required at least 1 green skill, while there were 9,500 postings with specifically green job titles. 
  • Combining these two metrics together (excluding double counting), shows that unique postings featuring either a green skill or job title accounted for 65,950 – or 4.65% – of London’s total job postings in the last 12 months. This represents a 20% increase compared to the 3.9% share for the same period a year prior in 2022/23. 
  • Looking at the longer-term trends, it is clear that demand for green skills and job titles has grown steadily in recent years and both remain well above their 2019 pre-pandemic levels, in both absolute terms, and as a share of London’s total postings.  
  • The increased demand for green expertise – and the resilience of this demand even as the capital’s wider labour market has steadily cooled – suggests that employers across industries are increasingly recognising the importance of both adopting and providing environmentally sustainable solutions and services. 
  • This dataset can also help to examine the distribution of green skills and titles across more established occupational groups, as well as the prevalence of green skill needs within these occupations. For London, the data shows that a wide variety of occupations require some element of green/sustainable expertise, with specialist sustainability roles accounting for the largest number of green postings followed by project managers, and a host of mechanical, electrical and environment related engineers. 
  • The specific green skills that featured most prevalently in online postings for jobs in London in the previous 12 months included building services engineering and automation, environmental social and corporate governance (ESG) standards, renewable energy expertise, an understanding of net-zero, while a range of sustainability specialists, renewable energy managers and environmental professionals were among the most sought after specific green job titles. 
  • The occupational and skill data suggests that London appears to have a particular strength in professional and strategic jobs related to the green economy. However, occupational concentrations vary across the UK, depending on local industrial compositions. 
  • Comparing across regions, London had amongst the highest prevalence of green job postings in the last 12 months and accounted for the largest number in absolute terms. Only Scotland has a higher proportional level of demand for green expertise (5.15%) in the UK, with a particular strength in the renewable energy and environmental protection / science roles. 


1) Time series analysis




2) Occupational distribution and prevalence of green demand


3) Most in demand green skills and green job titles



4) Regional analysis


5) Notes

Notes on definitions

Building upon Lightcast’s own working definition of green skills and job titles, GLA Economics has further developed and refined these definitions using Lightcast’s open-source library of job titles and skills taxonomies. Through this process, GLA Economics have identified 400 job titles with green keywords (e.g. sustainability consultants, renewable energy analysts or solar PV installers) and over 550 specific skills and qualifications related to the green economy and environment more generally. 

These granular definitions can help provide insights into the demand for green jobs and skills in London, but they do not offer a complete picture. Some green job titles and skills may not yet have been identified, while other jobs in the green economy will have titles which are not so obviously green (e.g. civil engineer), but where expertise in sustainable practices is of growing importance within in the role. GLA Economics’ definition of green skills and job titles remains experimental and is constantly being refined to reflect the evolving nature of the sector. As such, estimates can fluctuate with each iteration of this release. 

For enquiries on this analysis or definitions please email Jeff Dwan-O'Reilly. 


Notes on data sources

Online job postings are not fully representative of all job roles in a local economy, particularly those not widely advertised online. The data captured from online postings can also be inconsistent, with varying levels of detail on skills requirements, salary and job locations, and is subject to revision. Despite these limitations, online postings data is increasingly being used to complement traditional sources of labour market information due to its granularity and near real-time nature. For more information see: Understanding online job postings data 


Additional resources

For further information on the GLA’s work related to green jobs, please also refer to:  

For broader analyses of online job postings data for London please see: