“Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) prepares students for different areas of work and business, such as waste management, construction, industry and agriculture, many of which consume large quantities of energy, raw materials and water,” states Astrid Hollander, specialist for the OREALC/UNESCO Santiago program on Education for Sustainable Development, TVETand Education in Emergency Situations. She adds that, “greening TVET’ means to teach future technicians to care for the environment during their work processes”.
The objectives of the seminar are to share good practices and experiences between the countries of the region, to identify challenges and opportunities for the reorientation of TVET towards green jobs, to come up with recommendations to strengthen TVET for green jobs in the region and to develop competencies in the management of solid waste.
During the past years, “green” or “ecological” TVET has arisen as a basic interdisciplinary issue for sustainable development, and the idea of a “green economy and society” has become a key element for the international agenda. This idea does not substitute that of sustainable development, but it is increasingly clear that attaining sustainability depends to a large part on achieving a functional economy. One crucial challenge consists of reconciling the development aspirations of both poor and wealthy countries in a world that has to face climate change, energy resource insecurity and the loss of biodiversity.
“The transition towards a green economy in the context of sustainable development and the eradication of poverty has a significant potential to create jobs and help bridge the social inclusion gap,” states Jorge Sequeira, Director of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Sequeira explains that it is crucial to “green” TVET in order to move away from the current patterns of intensive emissions production and services and energy waste towards cleaner and greener production. In this way, all jobs can become green jobs, while at the same time new occupational profiles will emerge to respond to the needs of the green economy, including the installation and maintenance of solar panels, ecotourism and organic agriculture.