India’s Skill Council for Green Jobs

Last updated: 2 August 2023

India’s ambitious renewable energy target of 450 GW by 2030 is expected to create a surge of investments in the sector, representing an important opportunity for job creation. Based on the Indian government´s pledge under the Paris Agreement to scale up renewables, it is estimated that net employment (measured in full-time employees) will increase by an additional 30% by 2030. And the International Labour Organization (ILO) forecasts that India’s shift to a green economy could add 3 million jobs in the renewables sector alone by 2030. Given the scale of the commitment, the government is attempting to move early to develop training, skills and educational programmes, as well as reskilling and upskilling initiatives.

 The Skill Council for Green Jobs (SCGJ) was established in October 2015 under the aegis of the government of India’s Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, to address skilled manpower requirements for emerging climate resilient technologies and India’s commitments under the UNFCCC. The programme is backed by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and Confederation of Indian Industry. SCGJ was set up as a non-profit, independent, industry-led organisation with a mandate to identify skilling needs in green jobs sectors and to design and implement a wide range of capacity building and skilling programmes to meet these requirements.

SCGJ’s activities are linked to some of the key clean energy and industrial schemes and missions of the government of India, including the National Solar Mission, Make in India, Atmanirbhar Bharat, Swach Bharat Mission, and has been closely interacting with central ministries, including the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and Ministry of Jal Shakti, in addition to skill missions in various states. In line with the National Education Policy 2020 of India, SCGJ is now also working towards introducing green jobs vocational education in schools, universities and engineering institutions.

SCGJ’s key activities encompass all stages of training, design and delivery, and include: 

  • performing skills gap analysis 
  • occupational mapping 
  • development of qualification packs based on industry requirements 
  •  affiliating with suitable training partners and assessment agencies
  • training for trainers and assessors
  • training and certification of candidates in various subsectors
  • creation of centres of excellence
  • improving industry linkages in all sub-sectors
  • undertaking consultancy assignments
  • implementing externally sponsored projects. 

 SCGJ has a focus on three work streams – renewable energy; environment, forestry and climate change; and sustainable development – which covers the entire gamut of “green businesses” in the country.

 SCGJ has so far developed 44 nationally-approved qualifications across various sub-domains (e.g. renewable energy, waste management, etc.), along with supplementing coursework and content. It has a network of over 406 affiliated institutions/centres along with over 4 000 trainers and assessors countrywide across green business domains. To-date, SCGJ through its partners have trained over 500 000 candidates, including over 100 000 in solar and other renewable energy domains. In addition, SCGJ has developed an e-learning management system through which over 4 000 candidates have received virtual training.

 For example, with support from the International Solar Alliance, SCGJ has undertaken training of over 1 300 stakeholders from 82 ISA member countries across various aspects of solar energy. In addition, SCGJ implemented a range of corporate social responsibility supported projects, including on Simultaneous Intervention of Renewable Energy Systems and Skilling for Smart Model Villages, a project adopted by the president of India to create ‘smart villages’ in the state of Haryana through expanded access to clean energy and skilling. Moreover, under a project with IT company HCL, SCGJ has designed and developed training modules and implemented trainings on solid waste management best practices, health and hygiene, and communications skills, to over 4 000 field staff of the Noida Authority.

To understand current and future employment of the country’s clean energy sector, SCGJ is also implementing a comprehensive mapping of the green jobs landscape in India, supported by JP Morgan Chase. As part of workforce mapping exercises, SCGJ has partnered with the Council on Energy, Environment and Water and Natural Resources Defense Council to undertake an annual review of jobs and skilling in the Indian solar and wind energy industry.

SCGJ’s industry-led skilling programmes are designed to include advanced technological interventions that are harmonised with industry standards and requirements. As part of these efforts, SCGJ partners with key national institutions and industry to leverage their expertise and strengths in various subsectors. SCGJ’s vision to 2047 sees the shift to clean energy resulting in 30-35 million additional jobs created across a number of sectors by the end of the period, with over 10 million skills trainings and job facilitations undertaken. The sectors deemed to have the highest potential for job creation include green hydrogen, energy storage, hybrid renewable systems, biomass/biofuels, EV charging, pollution control, e-waste management, and decarbonisation of energy intensive industries. By 2030, SCGJ aims to facilitate training one million candidates in clean energy and green technologies and two million via virtual or blended upskilling and reskilling training across all sectors, establish 20 centres of excellence along with 750 affiliated training centres, and certify 7 500 trainers across the country. 

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