09.03.2020

5. SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth

 Does using more wood in construction create jobs? Where are they, and for who?

One of the primary aims of SDG 8 is to “achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities”. A more active wood sector, fuelled by increased demand for wood in construction, has the potential to create more jobs, especially in rural and remote areas. To see where those jobs will likely be created, we asked:

Hypothesis One

As professional education is required to operate machinery in logging, sawmills and production factories, the majority of job opportunities at an entry level for workers will be in the construction, maintenance and decommissioning steps of the value chain.

The wide spread of results here, including numerous respondents who ‘neither agreed nor disagreed’ or ‘didn’t know’, makes it difficult to draw conclusions from. What the more detailed answers suggested is that relevant education and training opportunities need to be available and attractive for people to pursue.

“Professional education is really required at all stages”

When asked where in the value chain the most entry-level jobs would arise, the experts answered as follows:

From this, we can say that job opportunities do occur at every step of the supply chain, however, open questions still remain about who those jobs are for? If the skill base is predominately male, then it’s hard for increased wood in construction to lead to job opportunities for women. This is something that must be addressed going forward. As one expert outlined:

“It´s possible to start work in many different places in the value chain. The wood industry also needs to reach more women”

→ Read on to SDG 12 →

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The Nordic Wood in Construction Secretariat is hosted by EIT Climate-KIC

The project is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.