Youth need green skills to navigate the changing environment - UNDP Ghana

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has urged Ghanaian youth to be sensitized and well-equipped with green skills to be able to navigate the changing work environment.

Date Created : 8/15/2023 12:00:00 AM : Story Author : Florence Afriyie Mensah/

The acquisition of effective green skills would provide the needed opportunity for them to actively take part in the estimated 8.4 million jobs that would be created by the green transition for young people by 2030.

In Ghana, an estimated 83.4 percent of the youth between the ages of 15-24, lacked digital skills and this could hinder them from thriving, as the world advanced in green space.

Ms. Sylvia Sefakor Senu, Economic Analyst at UNDP Ghana Office, sharing her thoughts on the 2023 International Youth Day, said the demand for green skills was growing as the world transitioned to a more sustainable economy.

“This is why the theme for this year’s International Youth Day “Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World” is particularly important.

The theme is a wake-up call not only for the youth but also for policy makers and other development stakeholders, especially in Ghana, to prioritize the green economy and its issues,” she stated.

Ms. Senu underscoring the importance of green skills, said it encompassed the knowledge, abilities, values, and attitudes needed to live in, develop, and support a sustainable and resource-efficient society.

These include skills in areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, waste management, water conservation, sustainable agriculture, and environmental protection.

She indicated that the jobs of the future, which were largely green in nature, also required some soft skills that dealt with the multi-dimensional and complex nature of the problems the world was faced with.

Skill sets, such as problem-solving, communication, and green projects often require collaboration of people from different disciplines as well as adaptability and agility.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) advocate for sustainability throughout the three pillars of development - economic, social, and environmental.

Specifically, the SDG Nine (9) on industry, innovation and infrastructure includes a target to upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries.

This is to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes by 2030.

Ms. Senu urged that efforts, including bridging technology divide and dealing with occupational gender stereotyping, were made, to adequately prepare the youth for the future in the green space.

Again, she said there was the need to sensitize young people on climate change and the importance of innovating green solutions to address the impacts.

According to her, some young people supported by UNDP in Ghana were already helping communities to adopt sustainable practices by recycling plastic waste, employing many in this green job field, to take decisive measures and coordinated policy actions.

Ms. Senu used the occasion to commend some Ghanaian youth, who were adopting practices by taking action to reduce their own carbon footprints by planting trees, cleaning the beaches, using solar energy, recycling, and advocating for the adoption of sustainable practices, saying it was an inspiration worth emulating by all.