Green labour market effects


In our project we are looking into challenges in the labour market for Switzerland on the path towards a sustainable and open economy. We will identify and examine professions and skills that are of relevance for such a transformation, but which may not yet be sufficiently available.

Project description (ongoing research project)

We will determine how various industries adjust to changes in environmental policy, and will focus on the application of a variety of production inputs (e.g., investment, intermediate products, employees). There will be a special focus on “green” occupations and skills that are important for the transition to a sustainable economy. We will identify which occupations and skills will be more in demand, and for which skills a discrepancy exists between supply and demand. We will also identify industries in which such a discrepancy would be especially damaging. Based on the findings, in workshops, relevant players will discuss possible changes to curricula in vocational training.


Little is known to date about how Swiss companies react to environmental regulations. For example, based on the openness of the economy, outsourcing abroad is possible that can be hardly considered in the interests of sustainable development. Also, little is known about which occupations and skills are required for a transformation towards a sustainable economy, but for which there is a shortage. It is also unclear how curricula for such occupations need to be further developed.


The aim of this project is to gain a better understanding of the effects of various production inputs on changing environmental regulations. Here, in particular “green” occupations and skills should be identified, and existing or future discrepancies between demand and supply in the employment market should be analysed or anticipated. We also want to show in which sectors measures to reduce these shortages are particularly worthwhile from an ecological and economic point of view.


The results of this project will deepen our understanding of the consequences of environmental policy on the open Swiss economy, in particular regarding possible friction on the labour market. This information is as important for professional associations in order to develop curricula as it is for environmental and educational policy decisions. It will thus contribute towards the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular to no. 12 (sustainable consumption and production).

Original title

Transition to a 'Green Open Economy': Labour Market Effects and Implications for the Swiss Economy

Project leaders

Project leaders

  • Prof. Dr. Rolf Weder, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Universität Basel
  • Dr. Wolfram Kägi, B,S,S.

Project partner

  • Eidgenössisches Hochschulinstitut für Berufsbildung EHB



Further information on this content



Prof. Dr. Rolf Weder Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Universität Basel Peter Merian-Weg 6 4002 Basel +41 61 207 33 55

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