“Green” jobs and building trade
The first building blocks
of green growth
In this period of global economic crisis, green growth can provide undeniable economic and social benefits for the various countries. Even so, the ground needs to be prepared and the conditions right for it to take off. For this reason, the French “study and action” programme steered in the regions by ADEME and Alliance Villes Emploi (see below) aims to develop a better match between employment supply and demand for green growth in the building trades. Read below for a presentation of a promising initiative for the future.
Each year, ADEME performs a market and employment review in France of all the main business activities involved in improving energy efficiency and developing renewable energy. “This national study looks at the trends within these activities against the objectives of the French Grenelle environmental forum”, explains Thomas Gaudin, economist at ADEME. “In 2009, the overall value growth rate of the markets from 2006 to 2009 would appear to be in line with the Grenelle projections for 2012, but we have fallen behind in terms of improving energy efficiency and boosting the production of renewable energy.” Right from the first issue of this national study, the interest in breaking it down by employment region was identified by Nordine Boudjélida, Regional Director of ADEME in Lorraine. As a result, ADEME approached Alliance Villes Emploi, the national network of State employment agencies and PLIE (local plans for integration and employment), to test an original study and action method that breaks down the approach by employment region with specific emphasis of the building trades.
A diagnosis by employment region
What would the impact of achieving the Grenelle’s objectives be on employment and trades in a given region? Are the local employment, integration, economy and vocational training stakeholders in the building sector prepared? Have they incorporated these projections into their forward planning and projects? To answer these questions, from June 2008 to June 2009, the local public employment agencies of the Bayonne-Basque Country, Lille and Nancy regions performed a detailed diagnosis of their respective employment areas. “These shared diagnoses revealed where the opportunities and barriers lie”, explains Thomas Gaudin. “On average in the three regions, that segment of the building industry specifically targeting energy management and renewable energy could double by 2012, although with differences between the regions, type of activity and trade. In the most concerned trades – mainly masons, joiners, carpenters, roofers, heating specialists, painters and electricians – new skills will be required. These changes can be hampered by a lack of clarity in the Grenelle challenges, poor coordination between the stakeholders and inappropriate training.” The diagnostic phase generally revealed discrepancies between the resources available and the needs, both in term of markets and trades. These common findings form a basis for getting the stakeholders together to come up with concrete solutions.
In the second phase, the three Employment agencies and their partners compiled action plans aimed at improving consistency in the market-employment-skills-training chain across their region. In all, some thirty actions will in four areas be rolled out between 2010 and 2012: awareness of the effects of the Grenelle forum, training in new skills, employment and communication. At the same time, an agreement signed at the end of 2009 between the State, ADEME and Alliance Villes Emploi means this study and action approach will be extended to encompass a further 30 employment areas in 16 regions, and comparable studies will be carried out in certain employment regions for other professions concerned by the Grenelle de l’Environnement and green employment, such as waste, transport, tourism, marine trades, etc.