Green skills and environmental awareness in vocational education and training

Synthesis report

Research Paper 24 | European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP) | May 2012

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The greening of the European economy, as outlined in the EU 2020 strategy, will have profound effects on the labour market and the development of the skills of the European population.

This study on green skills and environmental awareness in VET identifies challenges, priorities and policy recommendations for taking advantage of the transition towards a green economy by facilitating labour-market responses to emerging skill needs. In particular, the study investigates the links between skill needs in the labour market and the responses of learning providers.

This report claims that the main factor preventing adaption to the green economy is low and short-sighted demand for new qualifications from employers. Moreover, the uncertainty surrounding forthcomingregulations and policies makes it difficult to anticipate skill needs.

Learning providers also report difficulties in meeting the needs of employers with diverse occupational profiles and understanding what organisations’ skill needs are, which indicates a reactive rather than proactive role in training provision.

Overall, there is limited evidence of a mainstreaming of policies within these fields, suggesting a potential for better cooperation, awareness and action among policy-makers and the social partners.