Op-Ed: Seizing Green Job Opportunities Through Climate Policy and Education Transformation


Op-Ed: Seizing Green Job Opportunities Through Climate Policy and Education Transformation

Photo: Shutterstock / Thx4Stock

05 December 2023 – by Sartika Nur Shalati & R. Dewi Kandi   Comments (0)

Young Indonesians have considered green jobs an interesting opportunity, as revealed in a recent survey of students in the country. The oldest student press institution in Indonesia, Suara Mahasiswa (SUMA) of the University of Indonesia, and the Yayasan Indonesia CERAH — a nonprofit organisation — conducted an online survey between July 25 and September 12, 2023, and included 532 respondents, all of whom were undergraduate university students aged between 18 and 25 years old.

A total of 95% of respondents consider the climate crisis a severe problem that requires immediate treatment, and almost all respondents (99%) believe that young people have an essential role in overcoming the climate crisis challenges through careers in green jobs.

Dian Amalia Ariani, SUMA UI Editor in Chief, said that the survey is the first in Indonesia to capture student aspirations regarding green jobs — amid the government’s efforts to develop a Road Map on Human Resource Development Supporting Green Jobs.

Dian said, “The survey, apart from disclosing students’ perceptions of green jobs, also shows their aspirations regarding how the government should start responding to the climate crisis with green skill-building efforts. We know the demand for green talents is there and continues to increase. Therefore, students must be prepared to get a promising job in the future, which we know will contribute to the environment and the economy.”

Respondents were required to answer what challenges they faced in accessing green jobs. As a result, they perceive that green jobs pay less, acknowledge that their understanding of the issue is limited, unpromising green job prospects and their green skills are also limited.

Since the Paris Agreement (COP 21), the International Energy Agency (IEA) stated that the increasing number of green jobs has not been followed by increased human resource capacity that can keep up with emerging new jobs in the green sector. Most survey respondents (68%) acknowledged the potential for green jobs in Indonesia, especially in the top five sectors: agriculture/plantation, energy, transportation, and economy.

However, more than half of the students (55%) felt they needed to become more familiar with how green jobs could positively contribute to the environment and society. This was due to minimal information about green jobs, added to the role of government and universities, which need to optimize the education curriculum, capacity building, and training in line with the climate agenda.

Boosting Government Policy

The National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) is compiling a roadmap for Human Resource Development Supporting Green Jobs. The roadmap was arranged by asking for views from various stakeholders’ interests. At the end of last November, Bappenas also held the 2023 Indonesia’s Green Jobs Conference (IGJC) as a follow-up to last year’s agenda.

During the conference, Bappenas’ Deputy for Population and Employment, Maliki, said that the green economy could create 15.3 million jobs in 2045 or at the 100th anniversary of Indonesia’s independence.

He acknowledged that there were challenges that hindered green jobs from growing rapidly in Indonesia, including human resources dominated by junior high school graduates or below, skills mismatch between graduate education, and the needs of the labour market, which was not able to respond to rapid changes in the type of employment opportunities and skill needs, as well as industries that have yet to implement sustainable principles.

That was why this conference took place, among other things, to institutionalise green job development initiatives and encourage stakeholders’ commitment to carry out their respective roles.

Based on the survey results, as many as 58% of respondents considered the government and the DPR (House of Representatives) to have the most significant responsibility for addressing the green jobs challenge, 15% think it is private companies’ responsibility, 14% all parties, and 13% educational institutions.

According to the survey, various supports, namely providing training to master green skills, in-depth information about green jobs, and organizing green jobs fairs, are expected so that young people can enter green jobs.

Indonesia is entering an election year with the majority of young voters, of whom politicians are trying to win their votes. We hope politicians are making more serious efforts to build a more robust policy framework for green jobs. As the survey result shows, around 80% of respondents felt that the issue of green jobs should be a political policy/program priority, and 90% thought universities need to adopt a curriculum on the climate crisis and green jobs.

Please click this link if you want to read the full survey results:


Sartika Nur Shalati is a researcher at Yayasan Indonesia CERAH and has seven years of experience working in non-government organisations as a researcher on climate, energy and gender issues. She joined CERAH in February 2022.

R Dewi Kandi is a Lead for the Renewable Energy Programme at Yayasan Indonesia CERAH and a former editor at the Indonesian version of CNN’s digital platform. She has more than ten years of experience in journalism and joined CERAH in August 2019.


Yayasan Indonesia Cerah, also known as CERAH, is an Indonesian non-profit organisation working to advance Indonesia’s energy transition policy agenda. CERAH combines deep energy sector knowledge, cutting-edge communications capacity, and a campaigner’s desire for change.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Energy Tracker Asia.

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