The Role of Dual VET in the Just Green Transition

The transition to an environmentally sustainable, circular and carbon-neutral economy does and will have significant social, economic and employment impacts. This requires that all citizens obtain the necessary knowledge, competences, skills and attitudes to cope with these changes (see e.g. GIZ (2002): Skills for a just transition to a green future). On the labour market, new jobs will be created, other jobs will be lost and the qualification requirements for many jobs will change. In this transformative process, workers should not only reactively adapt to the changing requirements but be prepared to be qualified and creative professionals. The widely acknowledged goal of a „just transition“ that leaves no one behind calls for decent work opportunities, social inclusion, and the eradication of poverty in the context of the green transition.

Why can dual VET contribute to a just green transition?

Dual VET, collaborative by nature, can mobilise and bring together public and private key stakeholders for a just green transition, including governments, employers, educators, and youth. It has the potential to define and implement green curricula and to influence the development of green attitudes, skills and behaviours by what people learn (the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ principle) and by how people learn (for example reusing materials for practical training).

Applying a holistic perspective

  • A holistic approach identifies and sheds light on all necessary aspects and requirements that should be tackled by dual VET for a successful just green transition.
  • Transformative VET for an equitable transition to a green future implies a broader definition of the goals of VET that goes beyond employability and skills retention.
  • To effectively address the skills for the future, it is essential to involve all key partners, public and private, at all levels of the VET system in a social dialogue. Beyond the national authorities and formally organised business sector including e.g. energy providers and large construction and transport companies, this also includes local businesses (SMEs) and regional communities (see e.g. ETF (2023), GRETA: Greening of Vocational Education and Training: Process, Practices and Policies).
  • A holistic approach requires a mapping of the skills available and skills needed with a focus on the transferability of skills. The mapping needs to consider both, the need of the business sector as well as the characteristics of the workers including their age, mobility, motivation for re-skilling & upskilling and their career perspectives. This occupational mapping needs to be organised as a dynamic process with continuous updates.

DC dVET BarCamps on Dual VET in a Just Green Transition

Between October 2023 and June 2024 DC dVET is conducting a series of interactive online Barcamps. The events focus inputs and discussions on concrete experiences and concepts and involve various actors from different perspectives:

1st BarCamp October 2023 on “Laying the ground for a holistic approach for dual VET in the just green transition”:

In cooperation with the Öko-Institut we looked at the bigger challenges of the current time, related sustainability goals and the variety of justice dimensions and social aspects. What is in for dual VET? The panel discussion and the breakout sessions assessed this question from different persepctives including the politicial perspective (BMZ), the implementers’ perspective (GIZ / ISED project), the industry perspective (NBI South Africa) and the trade Union perspective (International Trade Union Confederation & Chamber of Labour Vienna). The documentation of the BarCamp includes a recording and slides:

Recording of the key input by D. A. Heyen (Öko Institut) and the panel discussion with B. Ifang (BMZ), A. Gewer (NBI South Africa), R. Marianti (GIZ, ISED Project Indonesia) and M. Hagen (ITUC).

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Available slides from the BarCamp:

Documentation BarCamps 2, 3, 4 & 5:

In cooperation with a Community of Interest (consisting of AMS Austria, GIZ, Helvetas and Swisscontact) three more BarCamps have been organised. The documentation of them can be found here: