Australian workforce short on green skills

By Angela Dorizas

Green skills training and monitoring is in short supply across the Australian workforce, a new survey has found.

The Green Steps Australian Workplaces Survey survey was completed online by 79 organisations in government, not-profit and private sectors, which together employed more than 50,000 people between September and October 2009.

It found that 51 per cent of workplaces offered no sustainability training for existing staff; 61 per cent offered no sustainability training or briefings for staff as part of the induction process; and 86 per cent did not cover sustainability issues in staff performance reviews.

The results were in stark contrast to employees’ perceptions. The survey revealed that 90 per cent of employees felt their workplace to be “somewhat” environmentally aware. Of those surveyed, 71 per cent favoured job applicants with green skills.

Green Steps manager Mark Boulet said the workplace should be frontline in addressing green skills.

“If Australia wants to save water, cut carbon emissions and reduce our impact we need employees everywhere to be green skilled,” he said.

“There’s a contradiction. Employees want green skills but aren’t investing in this capacity in their workforce.”

Green Steps is a sustainability education and leadership program developed by Monash University’s Sustainability Institute.

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