|Sustainable Development Skills...
People at Work can promote sustainable development
What does 'Sustainable Development' mean?
The main strength - and weakness, with the term 'sustainable develoment' is that it means different things to different people. There are many definitions, the most famous being "Bruntland's"
The key component of sustainable development is that development should be a balance between environmental, social and economic considerations to be sustainable. Organisations in developed countries tend to see the environmental component strongly, whereas developing countries concentrate on the social and economic issues - particularly poverty.
Skills for Sustainable Development
However, there are no National Occupational Standards (NOSs) that spell out the necessary skills for Sustainable Development. Such NOSs would be developed by Sector Skills Councils (SSCs). SSCs are required to "take the lead...in particular they will give employees ...confidence that: sustainable development and rising public expectations are being assessed accurately and professionally."
DEFRA have produced, in their series "Sustainable Development through Edcuation", a Learning Guide for Sector Skills Councils. This spells out what SSCs could do:
It is intended that at least one Sector Skills Council may take the lead in identifying the skills required for promoting sustainable development for all levels of employees, including managers, autonomous workers and supervisored workers.
The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) in "Learning the Sustainability Lesson" said: "Although there seems to be a degree of consensus regarding what we need to learn and understand about sustainable development there has been no systematic assessment of the extent to which these skills are currently being integrated".
The new Sector Skills Development Agency made Sustainable Development skills development a key aim a few years ago. A Steering Group was set up. Charlie Clutterbuck, Director of EPaW was nominated by the UK government's Trade Union Sustainable Development Advisory Committee (TUSDAC) to this SSDA Steering Group. But nothing has happened.
Many government agenices, particular Local Authorities and Regional Development Authorities have a responsibility to implement sustainable development.
The Sustainable Development Commission would like to see "skills of sustainable development viewed as the central priority of skills policy, and as a critical goal of organisations", but there is no mention of skills in their plans for 2006/7.
Do you want to join in the online debate about sustainability skills development? Go and log in. Then to join the 'skills' forum, you will need the password: paradigm. For the manguage firum, you will need:crouch
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