Published 7 July 2010
igreen , Steplight , Y Green
Tags: dusseldorp skills forum, green collar, green jobs, green skills, green training, home sustainability assessment, igreen program, Ross Gittins, Sydney Morning Herald, y green program
In today’s Sydney Morning Herald, Ross Gittins poses the questions: what is a green job? and, why are we aiming to create them anyway? He makes the point that simply putting the focus on creating ‘green jobs’ could do little to meet the goal of a low-carbon economy.
He goes on to outline the conundrums surrounding defining what a green job might be:
If, for instance, a job maintaining a wind turbine is a green job, what about a job in the business that makes the turbines?
And if it’s green to manufacture steel turbines, what about the jobs of the people who mine the iron ore and coking coal needed to make the steel? But if it’s not green to be a miner, would it be better for us to import all the turbines we need so the sin of being non-green was on someone else’s head?
We tend to agree – there probably won’t ever be a suitable description of a green job. Here at Steplight our focus is on delivering quality educational outcomes to those we work with, so we’re not too caught up in defining ‘green jobs.’ The outcome we are aiming for is more informed people who are empowered and equipped to take action in reducing their ecological footprint. This can take many shapes: from helping a business complete a review of their energy consumption, delivering sustainability training to a community, or supporting the delivery of home sustainability assessment programs.
Two of our programs, which are a joint initiative of Steplight and Dusseldorp Skills Forum, go one step further by including practical experience and employment opportunities for young people. The Y Green program is a home sustainability project where young people are trained and then employed to conduct sustainability assessments in their local community (see video below). The igreen program, on the other hand, involves high school students completing accredited training and then going on to complete a number of home sustainability assessments in their local community as practical experience.
In reality, very few of the participants in these programs will actually end up being full-time home sustainability assessors. But that’s not the point. By completing a course in sustainability and then applying this knowledge in their community, participants in these programs gain valuable experience not just in sustainability, but also customer service, workplace safety, and so on. Whatever field they go on to work in we hope they’ll be making more informed decisions about the broader environmental impact of their every-day actions.
So maybe it’s time we put the focus on greener jobs and creating valuable green skills. Then everyone’s job can be a ‘green job.’
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The Y Green Western Sydney project is a residential sustainability project where local young people are trained and then employed to conduct home sustainability assessments in their community. The assessments involve providing advice and information on household energy and water efficiency and the products that are available to reduce energy and water usage. The project is now looking to recruit participants for its next intake…
Are you a good communicator? And passionate about the environment? Are you 16 – 25 years old? Want to get paid to learn?
Can I get some training?
You’ll be trained as a Home Sustainability Adviser through a nationally accredited short course. You’ll complete the Course in Home Sustainability Assessment (21854VIC) which includes not only the technical information needed to complete a residential sustainability consultation, but also includes customer service skills, first aid, and occupational health and safety.
Is this a form of employment?
You’ll get paid for the training phase and to provide Home Sustainability Assessments to local households and offer advice to householders about what they can do to make their homes greener. And you’ll receive all the tools and training you need to do it. All Y Green Home Sustainability Advisers work in pairs. Most of the work is in the afternoons/evenings and weekends when most householders are at home.
How do I apply?
We are currently recruiting for 25 young people in the Fairfield and Penrith local government areas. To apply for Y Green training program please contact our Project Coordinator, Steve Fleischmann steven.fleischmann [at] ygreen.com.au or 0425 301 436.
An information session will be held on Monday 5th July. Please contact us for details.
For more information visit www.ygreen.com.au
This program is funded by the Australian Government through the Jobs Fund Get Communities Working Stream. The Y Green Western Sydney project is operated by MTC Work Solutions.
On top of the success of the pilot program, Steplight has been busy setting up a number of new Y Green programs. The largest Y Green program to-date, operated by MTC Work Solutions in Western Sydney, will be targeting the completion of up to 4,000 home sustainability assessments across seven local government areas. The program received funding from the Federal Government’s Jobs Fund and over the next two years will train around 180 young people in home sustainability assessment. In fact, the first group of students have already finished their training and have commenced conducting assessments in the Penrith City Council local government area.
Another Y Green program also commenced in November in the Northern Rivers region of NSW. Thanks to the support of TAFE NSW – North Coast Institute, Regional Development Australia – Northern Rivers and Ballina Shire Council, assessments are now underway in the suburbs of Wollongbar and Alstonville.
The Y Green program seeks to train young people in the emerging ‘green collar’ work-force, whilst simultaneously delivering quality home sustainability programs to communities across Australia. The initiative is a partnership between Steplight Pty Ltd and the Dusseldorp Skills Forum. Since completing piloting earlier this year, the program has gone on to be sponsored by Integral Energy, and now, the Federal Government’s Jobs Fund. With committed local operators we hope that Y Green will reach all corners of Australia over coming years. Here’s how it all came together…
What is it? Y Green brings together a range of stakeholders to develop residential sustainability projects where young people are trained and subsequently employed to conduct home sustainability assessments in their local community. In short, Y Green allows any community in Australia to run a home sustainability program – backed up with Steplight’s operational support and training, and an accredited TAFE course.
How did it start? Originally inspired by the Californian Youth Energy Services project, Y Green commenced on-the-ground in 2008 with a collaboration between TAFE NSW – Western Sydney Institute, Dusseldorp Skills Forum, the Hills Shire Council, Steplight Pty Ltd, the University of Western Sydney and Lend Lease GPT.
Where to now? Under the leadership and guidance of the Dusseldorp Skills Forum several communities are now nearing their implementation phase for Y Green. This is really exciting news after almost two years of development and implementation in Sydney. If you’re interested in getting your community on board please contact us or visit the Y Green website for more information…