Cedefop, the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, has launched a new publication in May 2022, based on a symposium, entitled “Apprenticeships for greener economies and societies” (ISSN 2363-216X). It aims to provide insights into how apprenticeships can contribute to “greener” economies and societies, from adapting learning content to regional transformation.

Chapter 4 of this publication, entitled “Apprenticeship as a systemic change-agent for green and social transitions”, was co-authored by Silke Steinberg and Dr. Rüdiger Klatt, FIAP management and board members (p. 49 ff).

Using the example of Greek-German cooperation in vocational education and training within the GRÆDUCATION project, both authors explain that education functions as a system of interaction and can act as an engine for change in green technology. Special emphasis is put on the presentation of the method of a participatory and dialogue-oriented approach in adapting and expanding the learning contents to include “green” techniques and the involvement of local enterprises.

The authors state that the influence of “green education” in Greece can be seen on three levels:

  • At the level of vocational training, the traditional distribution of roles between teachers and learners is redefined, roles become more agile and permeable, existing static knowledge is no longer sufficient as new content is involved.
  • At the level of the local labour market, positive developments are taking place with regard to youth unemployment. The green economy offers new opportunities and perspectives. Furthermore, a change can be seen in the companies, which (due to new competence needs) recognise the importance of training and increase their willingness to train.
  • On the socio-cultural level, it can be stated that the integration of “green” technologies strengthens the intrinsic motivation to take up training. Thus, the reputation of a craft apprenticeship – compared to an academic apprenticeship – is also strengthened enormously. Training that is expanded and reformed to include “green” technologies and content can contribute to communicating and anchoring the topic of sustainability throughout society.

As a task for the present, the authors formulate that the green potential offered by vocational education and training and vocational education and training in general must be recognised and tapped in order to successfully use training as an innovation driver for the economic and social transformation process.