At a time when Singapore is eyeing establishing itself as a carbon service and trading hub, demand for jobs in the green economy is soaring.
The authorities are on a quest to decarbonise and implement their net-zero strategies. Companies are firming up plans to hire foreigners for certain roles in this sector. They would find it easier to do so with a new points-based Employment Pass framework that will be launched on Sept. 1.
Reports suggest that four roles, such as carbon verification and audit specialist, carbon trader, carbon programme manager and carbon standards and methodology analyst are much in demand.
Aspirants are going to draw extra points on top of criteria such as educational qualification and salary. These professionals are among a list of 27 occupations given bonus points because Singapore has a talent shortage.
A Straits Times report says at least 12 related job titles on platforms such as MyCareersFuture and LinkedIn are on display. Many jobs are in carbon auditing. The jobs were posted by companies such as environmental auditor TUV SUD, oil giant BP, and various recruitment agencies.
According to Sharad Somani, partner and head of KPMG’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) arm, the four roles involve helping companies map and implement net-zero strategies.
A carbon standards and methodology analyst can establish science-based targets for companies to reduce their carbon footprint.
On the other hand, a carbon project manager can help implement the plan and achieve the goals. A carbon trader can help companies offset their carbon emissions using carbon credits, and a carbon verification and audit specialist will be able to measure how well a company is doing in reducing emissions, he added.
These roles are critical if Singapore is to become a carbon services hub, Somani said. KPMG estimates the decarbonisation sector to be a US$10 trillion (S$13.3 trillion) market opportunity in Southeast Asia, with the potential to create more than 5.5 million new jobs by 2050.
According to Somani, more than 50,000 new related jobs will be created here by 2030. Singapore will need to train local resources as well as attract talent from overseas to sharpen its edge over other countries vying for a market share of the green economy, he added.
Jaya Dass, Managing Director of Asia-Pacific permanent recruitment at Randstad, said that as the sector is new, many potential job applicants may not be aware these green jobs exist, or that they are even eligible, although they have transferable skills and exposure from past work projects.
“For example, procurement professionals who have been trained to shortlist vendors that have met sustainability standards can consider furthering their career with a company that is investing and driving its sustainability agenda forward,” she added.
High demand for talent in carbon markets
Somani said that global carbon marketplaces like AirCarbon Exchange and Climate Impact X, which are based here, are set to grow rapidly, and will need carbon trading professionals.
He expects professionals working in commodity financing and trading, insurance, and legal services to move into the carbon management and trading sector.
Gabriel Nam, the partner at recruitment agency Page Executive Singapore, said the talent pool for carbon market-related roles is usually international, especially for more senior positions.
“For example, we recently successfully recruited carbon market advisory talent from Japan to work in a leadership role based in Singapore. With the new Employment Pass laws, the recruitment process is expected to become more straightforward, and the talent pool is expected to expand, allowing for more cross-border hiring for even junior-level positions,” he said.
Asked about Air Carbon Exchange’s strategy to attract talent, Hum Wei Mei, who is its head of Asia-Pacific and global head of carbon and environmental products, said the company usually hires staff based on their professional qualifications and transferable skill sets for its non-software engineering roles. Training is provided in-house.