The joint Cedefop/OECD symposium on apprenticeship brings together policy-makers, practitioners and researchers from around the world to consider new research or analysis of practices exploring the links between apprenticeships and the transition towards greener economies and societies, as well as the implications for policy-making.
After a period of relative neglect in many countries, the past decade has witnessed a revival of apprenticeships, in recognition of their effectiveness in easing school-to-work transitions, but also increasingly because of their particular potential for developing skills closely tied to labour market needs.
The transition to a green economy and society aims at mitigating the environmental impact of human activity, including investment in environmentally friendly technologies, better waste management and land use, and changes in production, consumption and behaviour patterns, among others. Ambitious climate change mitigation policies are not only good for the environment, but also for jobs. The OECD’s 2020 Ministerial Council Statement highlights that OECD country recovery plans will boost growth, incomes and employment while promoting cleaner and more sustainable economies.
These changes have implications for preparing, reskilling and upskilling the workforce. Both the Paris Agreement and the European Green Deal (EGD) – the EU growth strategy – recognise that skills development is an indispensable pillar for the transition. Possessing the right set of skills will be essential in supporting worker mobility from sectors and jobs with declining employment – for example the oil and gas, agriculture, aviation and tourism sectors – to sectors such as renewable energy industries, where job opportunities rise rapidly; it will also be essential in creating a qualified workforce in the long term in a greener labour market. Apprenticeships can provide opportunities to develop the right skills for the green transition, both for young people in initial education and for adults in need of upskilling or reskilling.
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