Green is the latest mega-trend to impact the European economy with profound implications for the labour market and businesses. The triple bottom line of people, profit, planet is a 21st century reality and the ability of businesses to respond to the challenges of environmental sustainability will define business success and business failure. Green skills are becoming increasingly important in the labour market and are rightly regarded as high-level transversal key competences that are relevant in all business sectors. This is a good time to be starting a green business. EU and National Policies are combining to mould consumer opinion and bring about changes in consumer spending habits. Awareness of, and demand for, green products and services in on the rise and coupled with this is the considerable demand for training and up-skilling.
The potential for green entrepreneurs to help drive the European economy out of its post-recession slumber is significant but new training resources are needed to support this new breed of entrepreneur. GET-UP will develop the first bespoke green entrepreneurship curriculum in partner countries. In doing so, the project responds to the significant development potential within the sector and helps to ensure the relevance of VET provision to the evolving marketplace and the further strengthening of key entrepreneurial competences in VET curricula.
There are many interesting new high-value business opportunities within the sector that a properly researched and informed curriculum could support. ‘Green’ is here to stay and what makes it so attractive is that there is a greener way to produce every product and to deliver every service and these opportunities are not just available to a few select businesses in a small number of blue-chip industries or business environments. Green entrepreneurship training represents a profound addition to the prospectus of C-VET training currently available and the curriculum will be designed for delivery in a blended learning format to make it an attractive option for workplace learning. From small local eco-tourism businesses to large scale renewable energy projects a green entrepreneurship curriculum will not only offer value for money; it will also offer value for many. The green economy is a perfect setting for micro-enterprises and many small green businesses are thriving even though the economy in general is still only slowly recovering.
The world of VET continues to struggle to keep pace with the demands of the labour market. The GET-UP project will seek to address a significant gap in market provision by developing a bespoke green entrepreneurship curriculum and providing appropriate training to support the continuous professional development of VET professionals into this new market oriented course. New curriculum resources designed that address areas of significant business development potential are a first step but ultimately it is the development of new skills within the ranks of VET professionals where the real long-tern benefits will be achieved.