Laying the ground for a holistic approach in dual VET for a just green transition

GESI in Dual VET in Development Cooperation, Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) in Dual VET: Getting Beyond Indicators

The transition to a carbon-neutral and circular economy requires, inter alia, deep and rapid greenhouse gas emissions reductions in all sectors. This transition will have many and profound social consequences, including on employment and income but also on other social aspects such as health, care work, or household costs. While most studies find positive net employment effects by a green transition, effects can differ between different sectors, regions, qualifications, or along socio-demographic criteria. This makes it necessary to manage the transition in a just way, as acknowledged, among others, by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and within the Paris Agreement.
While the term “just transition” is sometimes narrowly focused on people’s jobs in the coal sector, it should be understood more broadely, as done, for example, by the ILO which states: “A just transition is greening the economy in a way that is as fair and inclusive as possible to all, creating decent work opportunities and leaving no one behind”.

The key take-aways from the DC dVET BarCamp on the holistic approach for dual VET in the JGT were:

  • Dual VET and VET in general can be important enablers and drivers of a just green transition by teaching green skills and by reskilling workers in sectors affected by the transition. To unlock the potential, industry development (including SMEs) must go hand in hand with skills development, e.g. in the form of integrated employment promotion, as done for example in the IRM initiative by the NBI in South Africa. Looking at development cooperation, the still common separation of rather technical or infrastructural climate and energy projects, on the one hand, and skills projects, on the other hand, should be overcome as fast as possible.
  • A useful tool in this context can be a skills mapping process: analysing what skills currently exist (skills supply), what skills are needed (skills demand), and which skills and workers are transferrable from one (sub-) sector to another. In doing so, skills mapping must consider different characteristics of workers, such as their age, mobility, and career perspectives. It should be clear that forecasting skills demand is a challenge, dependent on further industry development and government policy.
  • The dual VET system with its close involvement of the private sector seems relatively well suited to make curricula more responsive and agile towards fast technological change and uncertainties. Sector skill councils or similar forms of multistakeholder cooperation can serve as a bridge between the demand and the supply side. Business associations have a key role to play within such platforms which need commitment and resources. In developing countries, such resources can partly come from development cooperation but should also include private sector funding. However, ensuring sufficient capacity and engagement from business associations was reported to be a common challenge.
  • In general, a consistent policy framework is key not only for predicting skill demand but also for green investments and the establishment of green business models and green jobs.

While issues around green skills in a greening economy are still addressed in a dominant way, the importance of other justice issues as per the holistic approach presented above, need to be considered:

  • the importance of good working conditions in green jobs;
  • the importance of including the voice of workers by social dialogue with trade unions, and by allowing workers to get organized in the first place;
  • the importance of making the dVET system itself just and inclusive, especially regarding the equal recognition, equal access and potentially different needs of different population groups, e.g. men and women, young and old people, marginalized groups and the informal sector, different regions etc.

For more in-depth information on the keynote by Dr. Sandra Rothboeck and discussions during the exchange sessions please consult the following resources:

For privacy reasons YouTube needs your permission to be loaded. For more details, please see our Impressum & Datenschutz.
I Accept

Recording of thematic input by Dirk A. Heyen & panel discussion with Birte Ifang (BMZ), Anthony Gewer (NBI South Africa), Ruly Marianti (GIZ, ISED Project Indonesia) and Mark Hagen (ITUC).