Monthly Archives: July 2011

Great Green Deal Re-Skilling?

Following on from the depressing news that Construction lacks green, key business and foresight skills, in particular 43% of employers dont feel they understand the implications of green issues, or ability to identify the training needs, are we facing a green deal barrier?

Need for New Skills

We read in the Low Carbon Plan from the Government, (“much re-skilling of the construction industry to deliver the planned targets of greenhouse gas reduction by at least 34% by 2020 and 80% by 2050″),  from the IGT Report of the need for green skills, we read that PAS 2030 and Green Deal codes of conduct will access sustainability skills, training and development. The FMB Cut the Carbon programme focuses on the need for new skills.

Will it turn out OK?

Rob Hopkins in his Transition Handbook, (see my blog back in 2008 time for built environment transition?) in a futures scenario talked about the Great Construction Reskilling, the NEF paper, How it all turned out ok celebrates how we recovered our lack of traditional skills, succeeded in addressing the localism issue and turned energy ineffective buildings into models of zero carbon. (again my blog: How it all turned out OK in 2050)

Who is defining …

But do we have an understanding of what green skills mean? Is it just an understanding of good sustainability awareness (eliminating waste, reducing carbon, buying local etc), Is it technical, natural materials (see the Transition Culture archive for reskilling) or is it something more deeper, profound.

Green Re-skilling starts at the board level…

Do we imply the reskilling is just for operatives, or wider to include supervisors, managers and (in my view essential) board directors and senior managers? Maybe this isn’t a training issue to be lodged with the HR team but one of crucial CSR strategy for organisation? (see A Low Carbon Diet For Construction Boards)

A question then …

What are construction boards, contractors, installers, training organisations, industry bodies doing, plan to do, or indeed have done to understand and address sustainability skills.

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Construction lacks green, key business and foresight skills

Construction lacks essential skills. A recent poll of 1,450 construction employers, conducted by Construction Industry Training Board and Sector Skills Council, CITB-ConstructionSkills, skills gaps such as understanding the implications of green issues (43%), identifying potential new business (39%) and not having sufficient IT skills (43%) were all areas picked out by industry managers and supervisors as lacking in their organisations.

In addition, a third (32%) of employers said that keeping up to date with the latest innovations, products and techniques was an important concern for their business. A further 32% also stated that their management team’s ability to identify the training needs of staff was an area that needed improvement.

Begs the question what have we been doing in the world of construction improvement over the last two decades since these skills were identified in seminal reports, eg Egan , Latham and others.

Importantly it also demonstrates a lack of awareness and vision at board, owner or senior management levels to identify, acknowledge and prepare for emerging trends, particularly in the sustainability, IT and social media arena.

Links:

A Low Carbon Diet For Construction Boards (CSRWire post by Martin Brown)

Future Proofing the Boardroom – Part One: Grounding and Stargazing (CSRWire post by Lucy Marcus)

Link to CITB 

What is Green Deal: the hard, the soft, the CSR and the terminology.

Just what is Green Deal? Associated with my support for organisations developing strategies and implementation plans for ‘transition’ to eco refit or green deal work, the following documents are proving very useful indeed.

Getting Ready for Green Deal (Fairsnape and PBEnergy)  Is your organisation ready and equipped to work in green deals? Check against our top tips.  Time to green your board. It is absolutely essential that your Green Deal approaches are fully supported and sponsored by a board level director or equivalent. Green Deal has to be a key element of your CSR and Business strategy, not a bolt-on or suck and see approach.

What is the Green Deal and how will it work? (greenenergynet.com) Gives a general overview of what will be involved in Green Deal, who it is aimed at and useful terminology

Behaviour Change and Energy Use (Cabinet Office Behavioural Insights Team). Its not all hard technology and finance as this recent publication demonstrates. Energy reduction alongside Green Deal is one of behaviour change, nudge approaches and good CSR understandings.

This paper draws on evidence from behavioural economics and psychology to outline a new approach to enabling people, at home and at work, to reduce their energy consumption and reduce their bills in the process.

Behaviourally based changes that reduce emissions have major advantages. First, the benefits can be very fast, unlike major infrastructure changes that can take years, or even decades – a 1% gain today is worth more than a 1% gain tomorrow. Second, they can be highly cost-effective. Third, they can provide savings and other benefits directly to citizens

Green skills ‘essential’ to carbon-conscious building industryRecent Guardian Sustainable Business article.

Green Deal Terminology

Improver – The household, business or community that carries out energy saving measures through the Green Deal.

Green Deal Provider – This is the organisation funding the Green Deal. They could be your utility supplier or commercial companies, charities or social landlords.

Accredited Advisor – This is the person who recommends energy saving measures that could be carried out on an improver’s property. The advisor would document the energy saving measures on an Energy Performance Certificate which he would pass on to the Green Deal Provider and Improver.

Accredited Installer – Approved contractor who carries out measures recommended by the accredited advisor. The Green Deal provider could be the Accredited Installer but could also contract this work out. Whoever the Accredited Installer is the contractual agreement is always between the Improver and the Green Deal Provider.

The Green Deal Plan – The Green Deal Provider offers the Improver a Green Deal Plan. This includes arranging an accredited advisor and installer. It also includes the financial and contractual agreement between the Green Deal Provider and Improver.

The Golden Rule – The financial savings derived from the Green Deal energy saving measures recommended by the accredited advisor must be equal to or more than the cost of implementing the energy saving measures and the repayments must not be longer than the expected life span of the measure.

For more on Green Deal awareness of support