Today’s learners key to sustainable future, ETF tells Lords committee

All jobs must be green jobs, and all learners must be helped to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours to contribute to a just and sustainable future. That was the message from Charlotte Bonner, National Head of Education for Sustainable Development at the Education and Training Foundation (ETF), when she gave oral evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee for the Built Environment on 8 September.

Appearing at a session of the committee’s inquiry on meeting the UK’s housing demand, she highlighted a risk that green jobs are seen as something ‘other’ – something for other people – when, actually, to be able to effectively achieve the sustainability goals the UK has set and agreed to, we need all jobs to be green jobs as every sector has a role to play. This, she argued, must manifest itself in education, with all learners needing to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours that help them make better decisions and take effective action to contribute to a just and sustainable future.

She also highlighted the contribution of a number of ETF programmes to supporting teachers and trainers to help learners achieve this goal, including the Industry Insights element of T Level Professional Development – which supports educators to retain cutting edge industrial knowledge as part of their ‘dual professionalism’ – and the Enhance platform, which develops digital skills.

Charlotte appeared at the third evidence session of the inquiry. which is investigating the demand for new housing in the UK. It focused on the skills required to meet housing demand, including in construction, digital, design and environmental, and explored routes into careers in the built environment, and how to ensure skills shortages can be reduced. The committee, which is chaired by Baroness Neville-Rolfe, is expected to report by the end of the year. Further information is available on the committee’s page on the UK Parliament website.

The ETF recognises the vital role the Further Education and Training sector has to play in combating climate change and achieving sustainability and social justice, both nationally and globally, and is developing initiatives to help support its adoption of ESD to enhance teaching, learning, assessment and leadership. For more information visit the Education for Sustainable Development page on the ETF website.

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