Green jobs & skills at Rio+20 Earth Summit

Here’s an article about encouraging investment in green skills – the Rio +20 Earth Summit, by Hanna Thomas, green jobs director for Otesha Project UK, a partner in the East London Green Jobs Alliance.

Her main points are:

  • There’s a major green skills gap that’s going to make it impossible to make all the changes we need to reduce fossil fuel energy use and cut carbon emissions, unless this problem’s solved quickly through providing enough training.
  • There are over 1 million unemployed youth and thousands of unemployed tradesmen and women who are eager to acquire the green skills needed to retrofit our draughty houses; make the switch to clean energy;  build, maintain and operate public transport systems;  design smart, energy efficient buildings. But they’re not being offered the opportunity.
  • There are ways of solving the problem – the East London Green Jobs Alliance has adapted an environmental literacy curriculum from the States, called Roots of Success, and has “had a lot of fun piloting this curriculum with young people from The Prince’s Trust.”
  • The Green Skills Manifesto, spearheaded by the UCU Greener Jobs Alliance, calls for the Further Education sector to integrate education for sustainable development across the curriculum at all levels of education. The UCU Greener Jobs Alliance advocates for a green skills ministerial post to be created, to direct a coordinated strategy.

Studying environmental management - photo, Sam Shepherd

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