Green Skills as the Agenda for the Competence Movement in Vocational and Professional Education
This chapter explores the nature of green skills/competencies and the ways they are included in vocational and professional education in several Asian countries. It argues that the development of a green economy – one that recognises the importance of holistic integration between environment and development – is viewed by many regions and countries as a future-oriented approach; thus green skills should be considered essential competencies to be incorporated into vocational and professional education. The chapter puts forward an approach towards the classification of generic green skills/competencies and presents a model for greening formal vocational and professional education. It argues that although multiple examples of green skills’ inclusion into the curriculum – as well as some emphasis on attitude development – can be identified in the existing practices of vocational and professional education providers, there is a need to implement a holistic framework for greening vocational and professional education based on the suggested model. To achieve greening, a particular emphasis on the development of values and attitudes is required; thus sometimes narrowly interpreted competence-based training should be broadened. A reorientation of vocational and professional education programmes towards the needs of a greener economy (both current and future), would mean that individuals and societies could augment students’ general awareness of environmental issues and develop their readiness for green restructuring.
Industry demand is the backbone of competence-based vocational and professional education. However, current industry practices are slowly reorienting towards greening. Therefore, a government’s participation in greening vocational and professional education is crucial. Among many actions that governments can undertake is to stimulate the demand for green skills/competencies through emphasising green innovation and its diffusion in industries. A case study from Hong Kong is presented in the chapter.
KeywordsProfessional Education Extracurricular Activity Generic Skill Green Economy Green Innovation
A part of this chapter is based on the project supported by the grant from the HKIEd, Hong Kong: Pavlova, M. (2014–2015). Challenges and Opportunities in Skills Building for Innovation: Human Resource Dimensions of Hong Kong’s Green Innovation.
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