The energy transition is a global challenge, requiring efforts from governments, societies, industries and individual citizens of each country. Transforming the employment market and vocational training is a key task that countries face in this endeavor. For Vietnam, this journey is accompanied and supported by the Federal Republic of Germany.
Energy and job transitions – stories from Germany and the Vietnamese context
Energy powers economic growth and as the world’s energy needs are increasing, a critical challenge emerges. While the energy sector is essential for development, it stands as one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, exacerbating climate change – a threat that carries grave consequences for both, humanity and the global economy. Therefore, a sustainable energy sector is evolving in many countries.
This shift towards sustainable energy is intricately tied to the transformation of labour and job markets worldwide. As revealed in the most recent 2023 report jointly published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the International Labor Organization (ILO), the renewable energy sector saw a remarkable increase in jobs, reaching 12.7 million in 2022—a significant rise compared to the 7.3 million positions available in 2012.
As in Germany, the job landscape is undergoing significant changes, driven primarily by the impact of climate and housing targets set for 2030. A study conducted by the Federal Environmental Agency in 2022 revealed a remarkable transformation of the labour market, particularly in the renewable energy sector. From 2000 to 2021, the number of employees in the renewable energy sector surged substantially, reaching approximately 344,100 individuals by 2021, which is approximately three times higher than the figures from the turn of the century. Looking ahead to 2030, the anticipated effects on the labour market are notable. While there will be a high level of job turnover and significant changes in the job structure, the overall impact appears to be positive, resulting in a net increase in employment opportunities. The labour market is expected to experience both, the creation and elimination of jobs as various industries adapt to meet climate and housing targets. One challenge is to ensure that the whole of society – all communities, all workers, all social groups – are brought along in the pivot to a net-zero future.
Currently, Germany is a pioneer in establishing policies and conditions for a fair energy and career transition, simultaneously supporting both, green industry labour groups and labour groups in the conventional energy industry.
In Germany, the number of new jobs in the renewable energy industry is greater than the number of jobs lost in the traditional energy industry.
Like many other countries around the world, the energy transition trend in Vietnam sees the gradual increase of the proportion of renewable energy and gradually reduction of the proportion of fossil energy. In the future, many new job positions will be created for the renewable energy industry. These new jobs require workers with formal training and skills suitable for new technology, Dr. Pham Ngoc Toan – Director of the Center for Strategic Analysis and Forecasting, Institute of Labor Sciences and Social Affairs commented.
Green professions in Vietnam require many high-quality human resources.
Germany always accompanies the people of Vietnam
According to international and Vietnamese experts in the publication “Vietnam’s energy transition – Opportunities and challenges” (a book created by a project co-funded by the European Union and the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, produced by GIZ and published by Thanh Nien publishing house), Vietnam needs to develop specific policies for a fair energy transition and occupational transition in the short and long term. It is necessary to create more “green jobs” with high priority and to improve capacities to meet the needs of workers in the clean energy industry, adding knowledge and skills to the trained workforce. At the same time, it is necessary to provide specialized re-and upskilling of workers from the fossil fuel industry, preparing for a green energy future.
Experts also affirmed that for the transformation of the workforce, there needs to be cooperation and coordination among all involved stakeholders: the Government, ministries, businesses, labour unions, educational and training institutions. At the same time, sharing and support from international partners with experience from successful transition models is essential.
Santiago Alonso Rodriguez, Head of Development Cooperation at the German Embassy in Vietnam, suggests, ‘Vietnam has the opportunity to leverage international experiences to leapfrog the energy transition process. With an overall portfolio of 1 bln. EURO for development cooperation projects in Vietnam, the German government is already undertaking numerous activities to promote energy transition as well as job transition. For us, the Vietnamese people are in the center of all our common efforts. Through specific programs and projects for a fair and green job transition and vocational training, the German government hopes to help creating decent jobs and economic opportunities for the People of Vietnam.
Training of Trainers Course on ‘Installation of Rooftop Solar Systems in Vietnam,’ financed by the German Government, to prepare for a career transition. The training sessions involve the participation of 19 trainers from 8 Vietnamese colleges currently implementing vocational training courses aligned with German standards.
Information Box about the conference: On September 20, 2023, the German Embassy will organize the conference “Just Energy Transition = Job Accelerator for Viet Nam? German-Vietnamese perspectives on employment and skills needs” in Hanoi. The conference will feature the participation of numerous domestic and international representatives and experts with the goal of connecting innovative ideas and solutions that contribute to just energy and job transition in Vietnam.
Source: Thanh Nien Newspaper