Differing approaches to embedding low energy construction and climate literacy into vocational education and training

Clarke, L., Sahin-Dikmen, M., Winch, C., Price, V., Calvert, J., Bilodeau, P-L. and Dionne, E. 2024. Differing approaches to embedding low energy construction and climate literacy into vocational education and training. in: Werna, E. and Ofori, G. (ed.) Routledge Handbook on labour in Construction and Human Settlements: The Built Environment at Work Routledge.

Chapter titleDiffering approaches to embedding low energy construction and climate literacy into vocational education and training
AuthorsClarke, L., Sahin-Dikmen, M., Winch, C., Price, V., Calvert, J., Bilodeau, P-L. and Dionne, E.
EditorsWerna, E. and Ofori, G.
Abstract

This chapter presents varied approaches across Europe and North America to embedding climate and energy literacy into construction occupations through programmes of vocational education and training (VET). These approaches involve different coalitions of stakeholders and range from those in which the public sector and the unions play a key role to those largely reliant on private sector, employer-driven initiatives. VET for low energy construction (LEC) may be mainstreamed into comprehensive, long-term programmes for all construction occupations or consist of short courses imparting the specific skills required to carry out individual tasks. The chapter draws on a project, Building it Green, seeking to embed climate literacy into the building trades and identify good practice examples in the coordinated market economies (CMEs) of Belgium, Germany and Sweden and the liberal market economies (LMEs) of Canada, the United States (US), Ireland and the United Kingdom (UK). Each case is examined in relation to the involvement of different stakeholders, the VET model and the approach taken towards including labour, whether Taylorist or aiming to empower.

The chapter reveals sharp differences in the importance attached to VET for LEC in Europe and North America. Examples of good practice are found in the comprehensive VET programmes of Belgium and Germany, the state-supported VET for LEC centres in Ireland and a UK local authority direct labour organisation. While the unions have a significant role in Canadian VET, climate literacy is only recently emerging as a significant focus. The United States has positive examples, particularly at state level, but is hampered by low union density and, as also in the United Kingdom, lack of consistent government policy on climate mitigation. The chapter concludes that equity and valuing labour are key to combatting climate change.

Keywordsclimate literacy
building construction
vocational education and training
Book titleRoutledge Handbook on labour in Construction and Human Settlements: The Built Environment at Work
Year2024
PublisherRoutledge
Publication dates
Published12 Dec 2023
ISBN9781003262671
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1201/9781003262671-5

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