Skills Gap in Green Collar Sector | Kelly Scientific Resources Australia

Kelly Scientific warns of skills gap in fast-growing green collar sector

4 May 2011

Kelly Scientific Resources, Australia’s leading scientific recruitment firm, warns of a major skills gap in the fast-growing green sector

With predictions stating up to one million jobs will be created in the environmental sector in Australia by 2030*, Kelly Scientific believes more focus needs to go into skilling the workforce to meet growing demand. 

Paul O’Brien, Director, Kelly Scientific Resources Australia, said, “The global trend towards businesses being more environmentally aware is well and truly underway. 

“Environmental considerations are now part of most business decision-making processes. This trend will naturally increase with time as we continue building awareness, but will be exacerbated by the introduction of policies such as carbon pricing. 

“The ultimate result will be an increased demand for scientists and engineers that have environmental credentials,” Mr O’Brien said. 

Mr O'Brien said the demand for green jobs in Australia is already high but he expects it to explode over the coming 12 months to two years. 

“The volume of environment focused roles being advertised on both generalist job boards as well as specialist scientific job boards is rising steadily and has been for some time. 

“The issue is we currently don’t have the volume of expertise in Australia to meet the demand. Employers want to hire people with environmental qualifications and experience in the field, however this industry is so new it is very hard to find people with both.  

According to Mr O’Brien in order to rectify the current skills gap two things need to happen. 

  • Employers need to be prepared to help employees gain experience in this field to help improve the national talent pool  
  • Education leaders need to encourage school leavers to focus their tertiary education in the environmental science area to ensure a long-term pipeline of talent is available. 

“Our experience talking to younger candidates indicates that school leavers and university students have recognised the opportunities in the sector and have started to shift their study patterns.  Students are increasingly majoring in environmental studies as opposed to majoring in other scientific areas.” 

“Kelly Scientific has a dedicated team in place that if focused on coaching employers through this period by using specialist sourcing strategies, but the bottom line is it is tough to find suitable talent. 

The news is good for environmental professionals currently in the market because we expect employers will be extremely focused on retaining these people.” 

* Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Australian Conservation Foundation report, 2008. 

Media contact: 
Michelle Taylor
Recognition PR
02 9252 2266

About Kelly Scientific Resources
As a division of Kelly Services, Kelly Scientific Resources has been solely dedicated to and has built considerable expertise in identifying and placing qualified science professionals.  All Kelly Scientific consultants have qualifications in science ranging from Diplomas through to PhD level and have experience working within the scientific industry. Kelly Scientific - where scientists recruit scientists.   Visit at 


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