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22 September 2021

Has the pandemic helped or regressed the greening of VET?

The "Skills for green jobs" track at WorldSkills Conference 2021 will explore the impact of COVID-19 on green skills development.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals have urged governments to accelerate their climate action strategies. The climate crisis has made it clear that inclusive development can’t be achieved without a sustainable environment.

Countries are being increasingly urged to foster partnerships that synchronize national or sectorial development and workforce planning with their climate ambitions. Post-pandemic public-oriented recovery policies should also advance on the transition towards low-carbon economies. This has been the case in many countries, where generous financial packages have been allocated to the greening process.

In the private sector, skilled professionals play a critical role in enabling the green shift. A skilled workforce can help reduce the carbon emission of jobs, optimize the energy performance of processes, reduce waste, and help preserve biodiversity and resources.

Education and training will need to balance skill development efforts with climate-related plans and targets. The complexity lies in the fact that stakeholders have been working in silos.

How can we unlock new areas of convergence and cooperation between the private sector, social partners, and skill development actors?

The ‘Skills for green jobs’ track part of WorldSkills Conference 2021 The Road Ahead: Skills for a Resilient Future, will explore the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and provide a platform to discuss the next steps required in bridging the green skills mismatch.

The launch session for this track, ‘Impact of COVID-19 on green skills - solutions and opportunities’ will take place online on Monday, 25 October 2021 at 5:15 pm CST.

The panel will be composed of:

  • Olga Strietska-Ilina, Work Area Lead for Skills Strategies for Future Labour Markets, ILO
  • James Gomme, Director, People & Society, World Business Council for Sustainable Development
  • Bernardo Calzadilla-Sarmiento, Managing Director, Directorate of Digitalization, Technology and Agri-Business, and Director Department of Digitalization, Technology and Innovation, UNIDO
  • Deb J. Geyer, Vice President of Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Stanley Black & Decker, and
  • A Representative of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of the People’s Republic of China

This first high-level session in this track will evaluate whether the pandemic had either negative or positive effects on the transformation to greener skills and whether public-oriented policies correlated with private business strategies.

It will also shed light on how skill programmes can be developed in accordance with the market needs and how can international and national bodies support and train TVET institutions achieve coherent greening transformations.

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