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Career Corner: Understanding Green Skills and Green Jobs

Career Corner: Understanding Green Skills and Green Jobs

Sentinel Digital Desk

Ranjan K Baruah

The term skill development or skill training is common amongst Indian youths. We have seen skill development training centres in different parts of the country, be it managed by Skill Missions or others, but every district in India has these centres. Different trades are available in these training centres where young people may enrol to get the training. There are few initiatives under Corporate Social Responsibility too. Similarly there are skills and jobs which are related with our environment and we may also get training in those skills. We are talking about green skills and green jobs.

The definition of green skills may vary but its common connection is simple and clear. These skills are for the environment and skills which shall bring sustainability without affecting our environment. According to National Centre for Vocational Education Research (Australia), green skills means 'technical skills, knowledge, values and attitudes needed in the workforce to develop and support sustainable social, economic and environmental outcomes in business, industry and the community.' On the other hand, the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP) defines green skills as 'abilities needed to live in, develop and support a society which aims to reduce the negative impact of human activity on the environment.' EU commission (Skills panorama) defines it as "environmental awareness skills refer to the knowledge, abilities, values and attitudes [in the general population] needed to live in, develop and support a society which reduces the impact of human activity on the environment. These generic 'green' skills include the capacity to include environmental concerns alongside others (such performance and safety) in taking decisions, including in the choice of processes and technologies."

In simple words, these skills are skills which will enable us to protect our mother earth. We are aware that natural resources are limited and there is limitation to all these natural resources. To save our environment, we need to educate people. Education is important, as it gives people the knowledge and skills that they need to perform. Educating people about the environment, through the environment and for the environment will enlighten them in utilizing their knowledge and skills for saving the environment as responsible citizens. The Constitution of India contains specific provisions for the protection and improvement of environmental quality. Article 48-A of the Constitution says that "the state shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country."

Green skills are important to be in the field of green jobs. We need to understand what are green jobs? Green jobs are decent jobs that contribute to preserve or restore the environment, be they in traditional sectors such as manufacturing and construction, or in new, emerging green sectors such as renewable energy and energy efficiency. These jobs may be for aspirant with technological qualifications like engineers or skill trained people who have less formal academic qualification. Both are important for any nation to progress and to safeguard our mother earth.

There are many advantages of green jobs, few of them being that it improves energy and raw materials efficiency, limit greenhouse gas emissions, minimize waste and pollution, protect and restore ecosystems, support adaptation to the effects of climate change, etc. There are many other advantages of green jobs. Aspirants must be ethical if they are planning or dreaming for green jobs anywhere on earth.

At the enterprise level, green jobs can produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment, for example green buildings or clean transportation. However, these green outputs (products and services) are not always based on green production processes and technologies. Therefore green jobs can also be distinguished by their contribution to more environmentally friendly processes. Green jobs are central to sustainable development and respond to the global challenges of environmental protection, economic development and social inclusion.

In India, there is a Ministry for Skill Development. In case of green skill training Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is taking initiatives in providing different skill training which are mostly short term courses which is named as Green Skill Development Programme. These courses are offered by mostly government institution except few which are imparted by other training institutes. Different regions have different courses and same courses is not available all over India . The courses are available according to demand in the locality and demand in different states of India.

Few certificates courses are as follows:

Certificate course on Para-taxonomy [including Peoples Bio-diversity Register (PBRs)]

Certificate Course on Pollution Monitoring (Air &Water/Soil Pollution)

Certificate Course on Waste Management (Solid Waste, Biomedical Waste, Plastic Waste, E-Waste, Construction & Demolition Waste)

Certificate Course in Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Green GDP

Certificate Course on Forest Fire Management

Certificate Course on Water Budgeting & Auditing

Certificate Course in River Dolphin Conservation

Certificate Course in Community based conservation of Mangroves Ecosystem

Certificate Course on Plantation Techniques and utilization of Renewable Energy in Arid Zone

Certificate Course on Bird Identification and basic ornithology

Certificate Course on Bird Migration and Migration Study Techniques

Certificate Course on Laboratory technicians/ Technical Assistants for energy efficiency, star labeling and other electrical testing for environmental criteria

Certificate Course on Laboratory Assistant for Eco-friendly Food Testing Laboratory

Certificate Course on Plant Tissue Culture Techniques and its Applications

Certificate Course on Emission inventory

Certificate Course on Wildlife Management using Geospatial Techniques

Certificate Course on Cleaner Production Assessment

Certificate Course on Greenbelt Development for Industries

Certificate Course on City Environmental Surveyor

Certificate Course on Paralegal Practices (Forestry Acts and Policy/Environmental Laws)

Certificate Course on Forest Entomology & Pest Control

Certificate Course on Quality Planting Material Producer

Certificate Course on Management of Biodiversity Parks

Certificate Course on Propagation and Management of Bamboo

Certificate Course on Value Addition & Marketing of Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) - (Plant Origin) (Lantana Furniture and Crafts/ Coconut Shells & Fibre Handicrafts/ Bamboo Crafts/ NTFP Products/Medicinal Plants)

Certificate Course on Value Addition & Marketing of Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) - (Animal Origin) (Wild Bee Keeping and Processing/Lac & Tassar Cultivation)

Certificate Course on Nature Conservation & Livelihood (River based- Ganga Prahari/ Nature Interpretation/Eco-Tourism/Scuba Diving for marine life conservation)

The Ministry has certain targets for training young people in India. The number of people to be covered under GSDP will be 80,000 during 2018-19, 2.25 lakh during 2019-20 and about 5 lakh people by the year 2021. More than 30 programmes have been identified, which will be conducted in 84 institutions across the country. The qualification to get these skill training varies as few courses needs graduate while few can be for the aspirant passing secondary or senior secondary level.

Skill Council for Green Jobs is one of the most recently launched initiatives of the Government of India aligned to the National Skill Development Mission. It is promoted by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The creation of the SCGJ was approved in the 10th meeting of National Skill Qualifications Committee held on 28th September 2015. Established as a not-for-profit, autonomous, industry-led society, the SCGJ was incorporated under the Societies Registration Act XXI, 1860 on 1st October, 2015.

These are important as we get an opportunity to contribute positively for our environment. We are aware that climate change has already bought many problems. Solutions to the problem are based on innovation and research. However few solutions may be possible with the traditional knowledge. Aspirants may take up skill training related to green jobs and may even start new initiatives like green start ups. These are challenging but it is important and hence we may think and plan for the same. We must have green skills apart from other required skills to be successful through green jobs.

(Ranjan K Baruah is a career mentor, skill trainer, motivational speaker and strategic planner who has conducted career awareness programme in different parts of Assam and Northeast India and can be reached at or 8473943734 for any career related queries)

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