If you think you have a green job, the ONS would like to know

If you work a night shift, you’re probably up way too early, while if you’re on an early night shift, you’re already well rested and late.

Some jobs are admittedly hard to define, such as a GP receptionist whose job isn’t to answer the phone, as you might expect judging from my recent experience finding an appointment.

Teachers are easier to define as the clue is actually in the job title, although they have been on steady strikes for the past few months.

Being a train driver is also hard to mistake, and if you do, quite a few passengers may be in for a bit of a surprise.

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There are many other professions that need a second or even third explanation and even then you are no smarter – even if you secretly google it.

But now the Scottish Government is trying to define what has been quite a controversial issue in recent years – what exactly constitutes a green job.

Ministers have long set targets for green job creation to match the uptake of renewable energy capacity.

Cynics say there are around 10 green jobs in Scotland, while environmentalists insist there are around 1.2 million.

The truth, as always, lies somewhere in between, but what is the number exactly: how many green jobs have actually been created in Scotland?

The simple answer is nobody really knows for sure, which is why the Scottish Government is now working with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to find a common definition of what exactly a ‘green job’ is.

Minister Richard Lochhead, while answering questions at Holyrood, stressed the importance of an up-to-date definition of the term.

There is currently no uniform definition of a green job as different agencies use different parameters, which means that half-truths and even wild exaggerations are wide open.

A year ago, Green MSP and Minister Lorna Slater said the Scottish Government wanted to set a broader definition of a green job, going beyond the ONS estimates of people working in the low-carbon and renewable energy sector.

Green MP Maggie Chapman raised the issue again in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday.

Mr Lochhead, the Just Transition Minister, said: “There are currently several different definitions of green jobs, not just in this country but across the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.

“At the UK level, the Scottish Government has worked with the Office for National Statistics who are currently reviewing their definition as the current definition is outdated.

“With the net-zero effort and all the new jobs being created, it’s really important that we have an up-to-date definition of green jobs.”

Some people may argue that it doesn’t matter at all, but in many ways it does, and it is true that steps are being taken to simplify the definition.

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After all, how can we be sure that the conversion to renewable energies was successful in terms of employment policy if the statistics are completely inaccurate?

More than 27,000 people are currently working in green jobs, according to industry body Scottish Renewables.

That’s a pretty impressive figure, but falls far short of the ministry’s projections that more than 77,000 could be working in green energy by 2050.

Green jobs figures are also inflated by including ScottishPower’s entire workforce of 5,500 when it was converted to 100% renewable energy generation.

Of course, some people will scoff at this massaging the numbers, but these are the people who still think renewable energy is just a modern fad that will never catch on.

Spoiler alert – it isn’t and already has. And it’s a very good thing too.

However, green jobs will always be very difficult to pin down as an exact science.

Most people’s perception of what a green job actually is would be broadly similar as it would involve someone working in the renewable energy industry.

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It’s a fair assumption, but perhaps not entirely correct given the neglect of thousands of non-carbon emitting jobs.

For example, is driving an electric train or bus a green job while driving a diesel is not? Is a greenkeeper and is the person who cuts the grass courts at the All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon also a green job?

All of this means there may be a lot more green jobs than we thought—and in the most unlikely of places, too.

https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/23376105.think-green-job-ons-like-know/?ref=rss If you think you have a green job, the ONS would like to know

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