How We Can Make an Impact with Green Skilling

Topics: Sustainability, Employment, Green-collar worker Pages: 10 (3265 words) Published: March 27, 2013
How can we make a bigger impact with Green-Skilling?

In the past decade, prompted largely by the work of CSIRO and Garnaut reports, new paradigms in human resource theory have emerged to offer fresh perspectives on the structure and development of the Australian workforce. Despite comprehensive research, statistical evidence (Holland & De Cieri, 2006), and an increased awareness of the external forces impeding on the domain of green-collar work, skills development still remains relatively premature and significant gaps in knowledge and skills acquisition (KSA) still remain (Pearce & Stilwell, 2009). Sustainable development industries, encumbered by the increased deregulation of the labour market and continued skills shortage (Holland & DeCieri, 2006) has struggled to secure the promise of economic prosperity through the promotion of green jobs and businesses (ACTU, ACF, 2008). The literature currently overs a broad and comprehensive introduction to the greening of skills as a broad brush for an Australian contextual and theoretical approach. This review will firstly, expand upon Pearce & Stilwell (2009) and the ACTU/ACF (2008) to explore the growth potential of green-industries through the greening of supply-chain activities (GrSCM) rather than limiting its application to energy and resource industries. Secondly, the literature will endeavor to identify the prominent caveats pertinent Green-skilling. And finally the review will serve to examine how the purported inefficiencies of the gamut of activities brought the bear by green-skills acquisition may be better coordinated via a tripartite partnership (Academia, Government, Industry). Although no standard definition exists to describe the Green – collar worker, the most widely accepted description of such an employee is of “a person working in green sustainability or environmental jobs (Ehmcke, Phillipson & Kolf-Christensen, 2009) who has an interest, expertise and knowledge in environmental issues and practices and are employed primarily for this reason (Harvery & Emanuele, 2010). Green-collar work however need not be confined only to employees within this representation and may occur in any industry so long as their efforts have the capacity to reduce environmental degradation and the depletion of natural resources (Canadian Labour congress, 2000). By securing green-skills, organizations may become more efficient and sustainable through the use of innovative technology and practices (Armadale, Morrison-Sanders & Duxbury, 2004). Where widely practiced, the development of green knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) is not only economically viable but also has the potential to be developed into a thriving green-industry of its own merit (CSIRO, 2008).

Perusal of the literature has found that while “renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable water systems, biomaterial (ERDC, 1994), green buildings and waste recycling” were identified by the ACTU/ACF (2008) as strong contenders in the growth of green-jobs, these efforts were generally directed at regional development (Evans, 2007), (Saddler, Diesendorf & Dennis, 2004) (Pearce & Stilwell, 2009) and focused primarily energy generation industries (Ford, 1990). The emergence of Green-supply chain management (GrSCM) in recent years, albeit in its infancy has been theorized to propose an enormous potential for growth and integration with manufacturing (Lund, 1984). Contrary to Pearce & Stilwell (2007). As regulatory requirements and consumer pressures drive green practices (Srivastava, 2007), GrSCM, functions such as product design (Fiskel, 1996), material sourcing and selection (Skills Victroia, 2009) may contribute to the reduction of ecological (Lund, 1990) and industrial burden. Through an exploration of reverse logistics, green- industries may expect a quantum leap in the growth of recovery, reuse and remanufacturing (Srivastava, 2007) provided that adequate KSAs and technology assist in functions...
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