Skills for a Green Economy and Sustainable Future
Published on: 27.05.2020
Labor markets have been going through unparalleled change during recent years, and now the COVID-19 pandemic will also have an unprecedented impact on the future of work. Many hope that the pandemic will plant the seed for a green economic recovery. Given the uncertainty caused by the lack of a vaccine, countries, and governments have been focused on the health and socio-economic consequences of the pandemic. However, it’s crucial to not forget the environmental impact and the fact that the human exploitation of the environment and nature resulted in the current situation. Hence, in the post coronavirus recovery will be crucial to rescue the labor market through a more sustainable approach.
It was on Tuesday when the World Health Organization released a Manifesto for a healthy and green recovery from the pandemic.
“Attempting to save money by neglecting environmental protection, emergency preparedness, health systems, and social safety nets, has proven to be a false economy – and the bill is now being paid many times over. The world cannot afford repeated disasters on the scale of COVID-19, whether they are triggered by the next pandemic, or from mounting environmental damage and climate change. Going back to “normal” is not good enough,” WHO’s manifesto highlights among others.
Green skills for green economies
The prescription given by the WHO for the green recovery includes some key points that stress the need for specific skills that would help to make it possible starting with the protection of nature.
Increased environmental awareness and training are needed for creating jobs in green economies. Such technical green skills will apply to different sectors both industrial and non-industrial. Let’s say that architects, engineers, and construction workers must have a better understanding of environmentally friendly materials and techniques for building greener and energy-efficient buildings. Such knowledge an understanding will highly depend on local contexts.
The more the companies involve environmentally-friendly approaches to their products and services the more environmental awareness skills will be needed. For example, they will need lawyers specialized in environmental legislation or a customer service trained in environmental technologies. Biodiversity-related jobs are not only those related to nature conservation. There are countries where it’s not possible to find one environmental journalist. Therefore, environmental awareness and training spans from teaching jobs to genetic engineering.
One may ask, what falls under the category of innovation skills? This group of skills mostly includes what are known as soft skills. Despite their complex capabilities, these are the skills that are rarely found in school curricula. The list includes critical thinking, empathy, opportunity recognition, emotional intelligence, ability to collaborate and communicate, sales, and persuasion, to name a few.
Such skills are beneficial in every labor market or sector and they help design the right strategies to deal with green challenges.
When you have innovation skills and good business idea for a product or service, why not get started with entrepreneurship. You will learn how to turn that great idea into a commercialized product and sustainable business. There are many misconceptions about entrepreneurship such as it makes people rich at the click of a finger. Experienced has shown that purpose-driven entrepreneurs can be more successful than profit-driven entrepreneurs. Another misconception about entrepreneurship is that it’s a domain of only a few. Anyone can learn entrepreneurship and those who have enough willingness to work hard can succeed. This is one of the goals of the Entrepreneurship Campus, to provide access to entrepreneurial learning through online training.
Understanding science, technology, engineering, and math contributes to creating greener economies and inclusive societies. In many countries, such skills are offered through technical and vocational training. However, one of the major challenges in STEM education is the gender gap.
SDG4, Target 4.5: By 2030, eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, and children in vulnerable situations.
STEM skills are crucial for achieving the other Sustainable Development Goals.
What do you think are the skills that people need in your community to build a green economy?
If you have an innovative idea or project that contributes to a sustainable future? You can join the Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition and find out if you’re cut to be an entrepreneur.