Qualifications for Future – climate change as an occupation

Off to a sustainable start with dual training occupations 

The contribution of dual vocational education and training (VET) to environmental and climate protection must not be underestimated. "Dual VET represents environmental and climate protection in practice, and the embracing of sustainability. Many dual training occupations deliver a high level of innovative capability across a wide range of different areas as regards new resources. Over recent years far more importance has been attached to the topic of sustainability." The statement was made by Friedrich Hubert Esser, President of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) as he looked ahead to the new training year which officially began on 1 August. "Varied opportunities are available for young people to work in vocational education and training in the field of environmental and climate protection, and to be engaged over the long term in shaping our common future. This is another reason why dual vocational education and training will especially be of interest to the 'Fridays for Future' generation. Up to now - and particularly when it comes to choosing a career—far too little attention has been paid to this aspect of dual VET which has relevance both for society and for innovation."

 It is precisely because opportunities for direct contact between applicants and companies have been severely limited in the current coronavirus crisis that, in the view of the BIBB president, it is worth approaching companies and Chambers this year, even after 1 August, to find out more about trainee positions on offer in the regions. “This is because in these sectors, many training positions remain unfilled, and companies are desperately searching for tomorrow's skilled workers. And the coronavirus crisis has clearly shown just how important and crisis-proof the activities involved in these essential occupations and in occupations relevant to the supply of our basic needs."

Occupations which are directly relevant and of huge importance as we make the shift towards renewable energies include the training occupations of "Plant mechanic for sanitary, heating and air conditioning systems", "Electronics technician for energy and building technology", "Information electronics technician" and "Roofer". Using the latest digital technology, they all make an essential contribution to increased energy efficiency and climate protection in construction.

In the area of environmental engineering for example, water supply engineering technicians, sewage engineering technicians; pipe, sewer and industrial service technicians, and recycling and waste management technicians ensure that everything functions at all times in both the public and the private sector. Digital technologies are increasingly being used in these occupations in the very latest situation and switching centres to ensure, even in emergencies, the effective control and monitoring of systems and processes.

However, in many other sectors and fields - for example in the so-called green occupations in agriculture and forestry, in the packaging and chemicals industry and in logistics - there is an emphasis on environmental and climate protection. Here, trained skilled workers are creating important momentum for change and are actively contributing towards shaping our future in a sustainable manner. 

Source: bibb.de (website of the German Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training), revised by iMOVE, January 2021