Emphasising the importance of the shift to green trends and sustainable development has become something of a global custom in recent years, although mostly through being associated with the production of green energy and its consequential distribution. However, an often overlooked aspect in this regard has been the need for labour force that arises from the development of the so-called "green economy".
Media reports show that at a recent meeting in the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Serbia's advisor for national and EU regulations in the field of environmental protection, Siniša Mitrović, pointed out that strengthening and developing the green economy can result in the opening up to 300 000 job positions for young people under 30 years of age in Serbia – most of whom are currently unemployed. He continued by further emphasising the overall importance of the green economy in enhancing the country's energy efficiency through scaling down the prices of energy, before pointing out that the growing awareness regarding green principles in general is an encouraging sign for years to come. In saying this, he predominantly referred to the increased interest that young people are showing for ecological issues, illustrated by the fact that "environmental analyst" ranked as the third most popular choice of profession for high school students in Serbia.
Other speakers at the meeting, including Zlata Zec, the Executive Secretary of UGS Independence, emphasised the role of trade unions in raising awareness about the importance of the green economy. More precisely, she stressed that there is a broad spectrum of important professions in this area, most of which have nothing to do with the common misconception of jobs that are merely reduced to collecting secondary raw materials from waste. Expert Associates from the Alliance of Independent Trade Unions only further substantiated these claims, by pointing out that many trade unions abroad have recognised the potential of the green economy in labour terms, with forecasts of it being able to employ more than 8.5 million people on a global scale on its own, as well as through industries that are integrated in it to a certain extent, such as IT.