By Lynne Blundell

The demand for sustainability managers may have contracted in the property development sector but new government policies aimed at addressing climate change are boosting job growth in government departments, the mining sector and renewable energy.

A quick online search reveals the bulk of the advertised positions with a sustainability focus are in state and local government. Positions on offer range from a water accounting officer for the Victorian Department of Sustainability & Environment, a sustainable business project manager for a Sydney council and engineers for Melbourne Water.

In Victoria, as a result of increased accountability on energy efficiency, the Essential Services Commission is advertising six new positions for project analysts. They will be responsible for developing, implementing and administering the Victorian Energy Efficiency (VEET) and Victorian Renewable Energy Target Schemes (VRET) schemes.

According to the commission there is a growing demand for a wide variety of skilled people in technical, legal, accounting, IT and social sciences because of new government regulations relating to climate change.

In the property sector, however, the global financial crisis has caused a sharp contraction in demand for sustainability managers, according to Rita Adviev, principal of employment agency, the Adviev Group.

“Sustainability has very much been an expanding market over the past few years but green has gone on the back burner for many companies this year. Everyone is waiting to see what everyone else is doing,” says Adviev.

Sinead O’Neill, consultant with Hays Recruitment, says that while there is little current demand for sustainability managers in property companies, demand in the mining, engineering and renewable energy sectors is still healthy. Hays recently established Hays Energy to cater to this demand.

“Design engineering is continuing to focus on sustainability and the renewable energy sector is also set to grow, including wind farms and natural energy. This is clear by the number of investment funds investing in natural energy,” says O’Neill.

A cursory online search of jobs in the renewable energy sector resulted in six high level positions in the wind energy sector in the Sydney region alone. These range from wind farm developer to renewable energy engineer.

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