Investing in sustainability skills is vital for the future prospects of both trade union learners as well as the wider British economy.
In the spring of 2011, unionlearn was engaged by its sponsor government department (BIS) and agreed to develop a programme that developed ways in which the workforce could engage with the opportunities presented by the green economy.
Unionlearn has published 'Stewarding the Green Skills Agenda', which explores the pioneering work of trade unions in this area in recent years.
The Green Skills Partnership brings together unions, employers, local councils, environmental organisations, education providers, community groups and state agencies to deliver green skills training in construction, retrofit, horticulture and waste management.
Read more about the Green Skills Partnership.
Influencing government and other key stakeholders
Unionlearn has engaged many different stakeholders in the green economy agenda through dissemination activity, awareness raising events, partnerships and policy advocacy.
Unionlearn played a key role on the 'Skills for a Green Economy Group' (Sector Skills Councils, Government Departments and other stakeholders) in 2011. and continues to influence the skills task group of the Green Economy Council and some of the emerging industrial partnerships focused on energy efficiency.
Unionlearn has facilitated the development of trade union policy and operational responses to the green economy. UCATT has engaged employers and other stakeholders to deliver pathfinder projects in Yorkshire and the south east of England.
UCU has formed the Greener Jobs Alliance which is focusing its attention on building trade union activities in localities and regions and influencing the curriculum of schools, further and higher education.
Prospect is the co-ordinating partner for the environmental science competition which is developing as a World Skills Competition.
FDA is leading (in conjunction with PCS) on a sustainability awareness training programme (funded by the EU) on one of the major civil service buildings in London with the ambition of transferring the programme to other buildings.
Unionlearn and the TUC's Green Workplace Project have published "Greener Deals", a guide is aimed at trade union reps and members with an interest in having a practical impact on environmental issues in the workplace, and in particular climate change.
It offers advice on mapping union organisation around green issues, negotiating with your employer on environmental issues and encouraging other trade unionists to get active at work.