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News - A Future In Green Jobs: Career Development In Barbados Under The Global Green Economy
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Labour News.

A Future In Green Jobs: Career Development In Barbados Under The Global Green Economy

By Sean Sealy, Research Officer I, Ministry of Family, Youth Affairs, Sport and the Environment

Global and National Perspectives The Green Economy is an emerging global marketplace model that seeks to respond to the world’s major environmental problems by optimizing social, economic and environmental value. This is most commonly referred to as the “triple bottom line.” A Green Economy is one that is considered to be environmentally sustainable, socially just and locally rooted.

Broadly therefore, the Green Economy seeks to consider the environment and society in the pursuit of economic goals. In the Barbados Sustainable Development Policy (BSDP), sustainable development is defined as "development which optimises the quality of life of every person without over-exploiting natural and environmental assets and services, or jeopardizing social and economic development."

Critical, therefore, to the development, implementation and evaluation of a Green Economy is the identification of the key philosophical basis within the Barbadian context. This philosophical basis is the principles of sustainable development as articulated in the BSDP, which are:

  • Quality of Life
  • Conservation of Resources
  • Economic Efficiency
  • Equity
  • Participation

The Barbados Government has conceptualized an approach to the transformation to a Green Economy as articulated in Goal 4 of the National Strategic Plan for Barbados 2006-2025 (NSP). This approach revolutionises the way business and society operate, capitalise on emerging markets and perpetuate sustainable socioeconomic growth. It incorporates elements such as renewable energy sources, alternative fuels, sustainable building, corporate social responsibility and “green” investing. It further promotes sustainable practices within individual companies and institutions such as recycling, resource auditing and efficiency.

Plans include targeting large sectors such as tourism, construction and power generation and developing a supporting policy framework of fiscal measures such as tax rebates and financial support for green businesses.

Understanding the Demand for Green Jobs

The development of a green global economy and efforts to create a green economy in Barbados has created a future for green jobs. The pace of green job creation is likely to accelerate in the years ahead. The forecasted global transition to a low-carbon, sustainable economy has the potential to create large numbers of green jobs across many sectors of the economy and, indeed, can become an engine of development.

However, there is the need to assess currently existing green jobs in sectors such as renewable energy, energy efficiency in buildings and vehicles, sustainable transportation and organic agriculture. It is also vital that efforts are made to forecast further green employment.

To this effect, the Environment Division has embarked on a research project aimed at sensitizing individuals to the breadth of non-traditional careers associated with the development of a national green economy in Barbados.

The project has a number of interrelated objectives. These are to:

  • Create a database of all the relevant careers associated with a Green Economy
  • Describe how each career can facilitate the development of a Green Economy
  • Outline the skills, qualifications and experience required to enter such careers
  • Provide information on academic institutions offering relevant programs and possible sources of financial assistance.

At the conclusion of the research project, the output will be a published document containing the following:

  • A directory of careers relating to the national Green Economy;
  • A list of universities and other academic institutions offering each career option; and
  • A list of available sources of financial assistance.

These outputs should prove useful to those persons considering careers in environmental fields and who may have been discouraged by a perceived dearth of green jobs in Barbados. This information can also guide human development efforts to ensure that Barbados has a pool of qualified personnel to meet the demands of the new Green Global Economy.

Published: Thursday, 15th May, 2008


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