IEMA gives evidence to EAC inquiry into green jobs
IEMA's director of policy and external affairs, Martin Baxter, has today given oral evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee's (EAC) inquiry into green jobs.
This comes after IEMA's written submission to the inquiry last month called for a national 'Green Jobs and Skills Strategy' to embed climate change and environmental protection and improvement across the whole education, training, and life-long learning system.
It said that the new strategy must be underpinned by ambitious, long-term environment and climate policies that give businesses the certainty to invest and create jobs, which should be accessible to all parts of society.
“A strategy for green jobs and skills can only succeed if there is a robust and stable commitment to progressive environment and climate policies,” Baxter explained.
“It needs clear oversight from a suitably resourced 'Green Jobs and Skills Commission', and it must not focus solely on new green jobs – ultimately all jobs should be greener in order to place them in the mainstream of delivery across the economy.’
“Education, training and life-long learning must be aligned so that the knowledge and skills are available to individuals as they enter the workforce and develop their careers. This provides a real opportunity to improve the poor performance of the sustainability and wider environment sector in tackling diversity and inclusion.”
IEMA has also told the EAC that all new green policies, strategies and laws must be accompanied by an explicit consideration of the skills needed for effective implementation, and a green skills plan setting out how any skills gaps will be addressed.
In defining 'green jobs', the body said that many will be in the mainstream economy, and are key to driving energy and resource efficiency, sustainable procurement, eco-design, pollution control and environmental improvements in all organisations.
The strategy must also ensure that all parts of the existing and future workforce are equipped to play their role – including by weaving green competences through the majority, if not all, apprenticeship standards.
Baxter added: “We echo the call contained in the Dasgupta Review in calling for developing environmental education programmes that can help to achieve tangible targets – a key measure should be better fitting individuals to the green jobs of the future.”
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Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM