National Skills Week provides a great opportunity to showcase the delivery of high quality, industry relevant skills for sustainability, or green skills, through the Australian VET system.
The Australian Government’s Climate Change Plan
On 10 July 2011, the Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan and Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Greg Combet announced Securing a Clean Energy Future: the Australian Government's Climate Change Plan.
The introduction of a carbon price will drive change and promote innovation across the Australian economy. But ultimately it is the Australian people who will drive the change we need to make our economy greener. Tackling climate change will require changes to the way we live, work and do business.
Skills and jobs in the clean energy economy
The shift to a clean energy, low carbon economy will involve the creation of some jobs in new or fast growing clean industries such as renewable energy, ecotourism, carbon farming and sustainable design. In the end, though, jobs across the economy will become greener as businesses change how they do things to increase efficiency, reduce waste, conserve water and develop and implement new, sustainable technologies and practices.
Australians will need the right skills to take advantage of the opportunities that the transition to a clean energy economy will provide. And businesses will need workers who have skills in sustainability so that they can respond to growing consumer demand for new cleaner and greener products and services.
Many students are already learning the occupation-specific practical skills required to work sustainably in their future vocation. For instance, plumbing students are learning to develop and install systems for water-wise plumbing and irrigation, recycled grey water and solar hot water.
What the Australian Government is doing
The Australian Government is delivering a number of initiatives to support the existing and emerging workforce to deliver sustainable products, services and advice, including:
• the Green Skills Agreement between the Australian and state and territory governments, which is building the capacity of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector to deliver the skills for sustainability training required to participate and succeed in a low carbon, sustainable clean energy economy
• the Clean Energy and Other Skills Package, launched by the Prime Minister on Tuesday 12 July 2011, which will provide up to $32 million to support tradespeople and professionals in key industries to develop the skills needed to deliver clean energy services, products and advice to Australian communities and businesses.
Through these initiatives the Australian Government is ensuring that we have the dynamic, adaptable and skilled workforce required to support and drive the transition to a clean energy, resource efficient economy. Please visit www.deewr.gov.au/skillsforsustainability for more information.