Skip to main content

Number of ‘green jobs’ in Northern Ireland higher than UK average

Published on 11 December 2023

The number of so-called ‘green jobs’ advertised in Northern Ireland has grown year on year and now accounts for a higher proportion of all job adverts in the region, a report said today.

The latest green jobs barometer from business advisory firm PwC has shown that green jobs now account for 2.4% of all advertised jobs, up from 1.9% in the previous year and above the UK average of 2.3%.

According to the report, Northern Ireland is one of only two areas to have seen an increase in green job adverts in the last year.

The annual survey, which was first launched in 2021, tracks the movement in green job creation, job loss, carbon intensity of employment and worker sentiment across regions and sectors.

Green jobs include roles in the direct production of environmentally friendly products and services, jobs in the adaptation of existing products and services to being more environmentally friendly, and jobs that support a green economy indirectly.

Just last year Northern Ireland ranked bottom of the barometer but, after strong performance in green job creation, it has since climbed seven places to ranking fifth overall in this years report.

Green jobs in the information and communications sector were up by 63.1% while green jobs in the financial and insurance sectors doubled.

The science and technical sector also saw a 20% boost in green jobs.

According to PwC this growth was partially offset by reductions of 77% and 54% in the hospitality and manufacturing sectors respectively.

Jason Calvert, director at PwC Northern Ireland, said: “It’s encouraging to see green job creation in Northern Ireland showing resilience. The focus now needs to be on creating solutions for businesses in Northern Ireland to help ensure that our economy can capitalise on the opportunities of the net zero transition.

“The path forward will require a concerted effort by both employers and policymakers. Employers need to be looking closely at jobs that may disappear, new jobs that may be created, and considering how they can equip existing employees with the right skills to make the transition between jobs.

"Policymakers need to be empowered to innovate and take risks in the development of novel approaches in the policy domains that will support this transition. These include incentivising higher education in fields that will support the net zero transition, creating better conditions to retain new graduates in the region, and improving the business environment for attracting further inward investment.”

The report found that while NI had a seen a boost in the number of green jobs, across the UK numbers had fallen from the record levels recorded in 2022.

The PwC report said that high interest rates and a challenging economic backdrop led to the number of roles advertised falling by nearly a third, while green jobs dropped by over a quarter.

According to the report, Scotland is the best performing of all the regions and nations in the UK, leading the way with green job creation with with 4.04% of all jobs advertised considered as green (up from 3.3% last year).

London and the South East show the largest absolute number of vacancies, accounting for 33% of all new green job postings in the UK.

Source: Belfast Telegraph (link opens in new window)