Learning green skills – vital to Sa’s transition to a low carbon economy

South Africa is committed to becoming a low carbon economy and to reducing our carbon emissions by
34% by 2020. The demand for skilled professionals in the carbon and energy sectors is rising. Predictions around job creation from these industries are very promising. The GreenPeace Energy Sector Jobs to 2030 report predicts that the opportunities offered by the renewable energy sector alone could result in the creation of 78 000 direct jobs and thousands of indirect jobs in less than 20 years.

SA’s now Ex -Water and Environmental Affairs minister, Buyelwa Sonjica, recently signed an agreement with provincial MEC’s responsible for the environmental portfolio. Ensuring environmental assets and natural
resources are valued, protected and enhanced is known as “outcome 10” of government’s 12 outcomes, The environmental sector expanded public works programme (EPWP) would be scaled up to carry out the activities
outlined under outcome 10. It was expected that 1,15-million EPWP work opportunities would be created by 2014. Another 325 652 full time jobs were also expected to be created by 2014.

The growth of the green industry is clear. The question is, who will fill these jobs and will they be able to perform them effectively? There is clearly a need in South Africa to develop strong capacity within the green industry and related technologies. All these predictions will fail to come true if we don’t have the skilled workers to fill these jobs created. Capacity building and skills transfer is vital for a country like ours that is still in its infancy when it
comes to sustainability.

Corporate South Africa is also seeing the value in up skilling their staff. Every day, employees in organizations make decisions with far-reaching environmental and social consequences. When these employees begin to
understand the impact of their decisions, they consider the options more carefully. The business case for employee education is a strong one with benefits such as improved operational efficiency, innovation,
supply chain management, attracting and retaining employees, strengthening customer relations as well as strengthening community ties.

What are the training options out there?

Most South African’ universities offer Environmental Management degrees and Engineering degrees that are suitable for those students who are embarking on their green careers or those interested in long term studying. But what about those people who want to join this exciting industry or gain an additional skill to add to their existing portfolio. Short training programmes are easily accessible to gain these types of skills quickly. We’ve researched the green training market in South Africa and found the short term programmes that are
available currently. Below is a list of training providers, the short term courses they offer as well as a brief description of the courses they offer. We have specifically omitted the degree programmes from our
research as there are too many to mention.

Click here to view the full list – http://globalcarbonexchange.co.za/interested-in-a-green-career.html

In order to embark on your green career, you need to decide which environmental sector interests you, find a course that suits your needs and go for it. Speaking from experience, it is a truly rewarding career path filled with challenges, opportunities and lots of room to grow. And you get to add ‘Saving the Planet’ to your CV. Pretty cool if you ask me.

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