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Greener Skills and Jobs

image of Greener Skills and Jobs

Green skills, that is, skills needed in a low-carbon economy, will be required in all sectors and at all levels in the workforce as emerging economic activities create new (or renewed) occupations. Structural changes will realign sectors that are likely to decline as a result of the greening of the economy and workers will need to be retrained accordingly. The successful transition to a low-carbon economy will only be possible if workers can flexibly adapt and transfer from areas of decreasing employment to new industries. This report suggests that the role of skills and education and training policies should be an important component of the ecological transformation process.

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Education and training for sustainability: An ecological vision

The authors defend the idea that a sustainable society is only possible through a systemic approach, which integrates (new) green production and consumption patterns, in a unique eco-system. This chapter focuses on research and innovation in the area of industrial technologies. It shows how research and innovation must be interrelated for a sustainable and competitive economy. Despite delocalisation, industry continues to play a capital role for Europe in what we call “the industrial paradox”: industrial economies are more crisis-resistant than those dominated by low added-value activities. For the authors, Europe still maintains competitive advantages, such as its human capital. Maintaining or increasing such advantage requires the development of a whole set of skills, both technical and “soft” skills. The needs of industry in terms of skills and capacities are therefore analysed, combined with values and attitudes necessary for a sustainable society. The chapter includes some policy recommendations that put into question current European education and training discourses and policies.

English

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