How to generate jobs for young people and vulnerable groups in the green economy?

Spain and Portugal

The magnitude of the unemployment problem in Spain, aggravated in the youth segment, makes it necessary to identify areas of economic activity with great potential to generate employment and, within them, initiatives capable of starting processes of massive job creation.

The green economy is one sector that clearly responds to this need due to the sustained employment growth recorded. In this scenario, we highlight three areas where social innovation gives rise to initiatives with great potential:  

  • Organic farming
    Starting from access to land ownership and financial resources, to training in specific organic farming techniques and channels that enable shortening the distribution chain.
  • Waste management and recycling 
    Innovations aimed at achieving more efficient processes that are more job intensive and with more citizen engagement. Also, niche markets focused on waste recovery to give them added value (upcycling).  
  • Green building
    From construction to rehabilitation and adaptation of buildings and homes based on energy efficiency and sustainability criteria. Also, training in green building, especially training programmes that facilitate the retraining of low-skilled workers in the sector or of less employable young people.

The scale of the challenge requires us to prioritise the search for initiatives with the potential to provide short-term solutions, over others that, although favouring the transformation to a more sustainable model, are not likely to generate as much employment.

Stakeholders panel

In Spain: Ana Sáinz, Antonio Aguilera, Catalina Parra, Ignacio Samper, Irene Salgado, José Manuel Moreira Madueño, Juan Muñoz, Lola Elejalde Hernani, María González, Pablo Valencia, Pau Pèrez, Sonia Castañeda, Vicente José Montes Gan and Víctor Viñuales.

In Portugal: Ana Cristina Morais, Filipe Alves, João José Fernandes, Lucinda Correia, Luis Costa, Luisa Valle, Miguel Alves Martins, Miguel Muñoz Duarte, Paula Lopes Silva and Pedro Teiga. 

Challenge completed
June 2015