Discussion 3: Skilling up for CleanBC



We are planning for the future. With CleanBC we have a path forward for a cleaner economy, improving how we work, heat our buildings and get around.

BCIT students touring a new facility
BCIT students touring a facility

Learn more about CleanBC

We need to know what new jobs will come with a cleaner economy. And we need to make sure people are trained and ready when the jobs are available.

People will need training to generate clean energy, renovate buildings, design new technologies, innovate to help business and industry reduce their emissions, design communities and transportation to reduce carbon pollution, and so much more.

Across all these areas, education and training will be the key to success — whether it’s workplace training, a college course, or a new career path.

Tell us more about the kind of training you would like to see.

 

Questions:

What kind of training would you like to see for you, your family or your friends?

What kind of support would be needed to making training accessible to your community?

How can colleges, universities, trades training institutions and other post-secondary institutions help?

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9 responses to “Discussion 3: Skilling up for CleanBC

    User avatar
    [-] Christal

    Training for the clean energy transition may be more about thinking differently than instilling a completely different set of hard skills. K-12 curricula, in addition to post-secondary, should ensure that all graduates have a better understanding of Canada’s energy systems, the diversity of our energy basket, the tremendous potential of developing integrated energy solutions with conventional and renewable sources, and opportunities to displace or reduce energy use.

    In some cases, it is the inertia of the status quo that is slowing the clean energy transition. Examples of thinking differently: A developer that considers installing ground source heat pumps in a new subdivision, rather than defaulting to gas-fired boilers; a pipeline operator that uses waste heat recovery technology to lessen the environmental impact of operations; an oil and gas production company that takes note of a well’s high temperature and high water cut as an opportunity to install geothermal co-production technology, decarbonizing operations as a result.

    Very specific credentialing may become quickly outdated as technology advances, however, the ability to challenge the status quo and re-envision the way we create and service energy needs is highly relevant and transferable, and vital not just for those working in “green” industries but every energy consumer.

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    [-] Zain

    Creating training, support and opportunities around local food and energy production/consumption should be the prime goal. Yes, an apple from New Zealand may be cheaper due to subsidies but why do we need an apple from there when BC grows a whole lot of variety of applies here. Sure, it don’t grow year-round but why do we need an apple year-round? Why can’t we live what we can grow and produce locally? Wouldn’t that be more sustainable in the long-run? Also, the impact of trade in international waters is no one’s responsibility, so it goes un-check with no one really owning the emissions through it. Can we change that ideology by encouraging production and consumption of local food, energy and other basic necessities of life? Perhaps start by talking at K-12 levels, and letting those kids chose their careers going forward. With higher level education institutions, perhaps a conversation about the challenges of future could be a mandatory course in every single program they offer.

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    [-] Richard

    The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers is a labour union that builds, repairs and maintains heavy industrial facilities. Our union trains and dispatches skilled workers across British Columbia and Canada.
    The type of work we perform requires sending thousands of craftspeople – welders, riggers & mechanics – to industrial sites to install major industrial systems, including emission controls and Carbon Capture, Use and Storage (CCUS) technologies. Boilermakers see first hand how CCUS drives job creation and powers economies. The Boilermakers have the skills to get the job done now and are ready to train the new generation of people who want a career in the Trades.
    Boilermakers skills are contributing to the construction of Site C, Propane plant in Prince Rupert, Tank farms for Trans Mountain and for transportation centres and LNG along with the industrial landscape of B.C. The skills are there now to do the work on green technologies like Carbon Capture.
    For example, Boilermakers have contribute to the construction of three major CCUS plants in Canada: The Shell Quest Scotford Upgrader, the North West Redwater Sturgeon Refinery, both are in Alberta and SaskPower’s Boundary Dam (the worlds first post-combustion project to add CCS to an existing coal-fired power plant.) are capturing carbon and storing deep under ground. Captured carbon also has many uses.
    Each project has created good union paying jobs that included health & welfare, pension and other benefits. Thousand of workers traveled across the country to work on the three projects mention above to live in communities where they spent wages on lodging, dining, products and services. Taxes from these projects supported education, health care and public safety. Increase spending in area communities created indirect jobs to support the population of workers building those facilities. And now these facilities are operational with full-time workers there, continues supporting local communities through taxes and personal spending.
    The opportunities for CO2 mitigation, job creation and economic growth surrounding CCS is good news to British Columbia. While power generations receives most of the attention for CCS it will be necessary to adapt CCS technologies to every type of industry that emits large volumes of CO2: petrochemical, oil & gas, cement, pulp & paper, aluminium smelting and other manufacturing.
    Policies and financial support from government along with private investment to commercialise CCS not only promotes real solutions to climate change, they also drive job opportunities and economic development. Scaling up to CCS to the extraordinary level necessary to help meet the Paris Accord global warming targets will profoundly benefit workers and communities alike.
    Learn more about CCS by visiting http://www.cleanerfutureccs.org for a short film on CCUS.

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    User avatar
    [-] Meg

    As a private sector provider, I am already working with experts, providing basic training on science and technology solutions to climate change. This basic training delivered on-line allows participants to have discussions and ask questions, in small-group formats. It could be useful for anyone leaving, or considering leaving, the fossil fuel industry (for example) but who needs impartial information about climate change and a way to frame the new opportunities on offer. We believe a crucial part of the training is how international factors are driving climate change, so that even in the local context we can start making a range of reasonable decisions with all of the different levels in mind.

    However, as mentioned earlier, many people do not regard climate change as a serious threat, or have a variety of other sources to consult. A related problem linked to the latter issue is that many people feel “drowned” in information but they cannot sort out which ones may help them. Our sense is that people need to have conversations with a range of experts or job advisors before they have enough information to make the right choice for themselves.

    Although in my career I have worked with a range of higher education institutions, at this point I am unconvinced that they are nimble and fast enough to meet the needs, especially of middle- to older professionals. I tend to think that a type of “hot-bed” or supportive eco-system would be better to support different initiatives or pilots, some public perhaps, but with more and adequate support to new, path-breaking private initiatives.

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    [-] Denis

    The notion that individuals must continue to work full-time jobs going forward is outdated. Automation is poised to take 800 million jobs globally in the next decade. This should be a cause for celebration as our society’s time is less and less constrained by the need to labour – often in conditions which break down the body over time.

    Unfortunately, the imminence of even broader automation is a serious concern for a lot of people. For many, the choices are 1) continue to champion work that destroys the planet or 2) become unemployed without a social safety net.

    A CleanBC job transition plan must incorporate elements of a basic livable income at a bare minimum for those whose jobs are on the list of most at-risk to being lost to automation. It needs to also further disincentivize and progressively tax companies which are doing active damage to our province and the planet through large carbon footprint and emissions-based work. It is not enough to simply attempt to catch people as their current way of life falls out from under them. A safe, stable floor must be created to allow individuals to move forward without fear or desperation.

    The advancements in technology, and improvements in overall quality of life should not be reserved for the extremely limited sector of our population who had the good fortune of a head start with family wealth, or dumb luck by moving an idea forward at the right time in the right economic conditions. Every BC citizen contributes their livelihood to this province in some way or another, and the upcoming glut of profit to be reaped from having machines do things faster, more accurately, and more safely is not a private good to be shared among the elite and presented to the rest of us as “hard work paying off”.

    In summary;
    1) Increase taxes on extractive and resource-based industries.
    2) Create a robust and progressive taxation plan on automated work (i.e tax machines)
    3) Give people a basic livable wage – especially those who are most prone to loss of work through automation.

    Only after the above three items are firmly and fully implemented does the conversation of re-skilling become practical. Every person entering training in a new field should be properly motivated to do so – not coerced in desperation.

    Starting with “where should we shuffle labourers next to meet market whims” is a regressive, and reactionary approach to an evolving and predictable trajectory of issues. For the first time in a very long time, please re-evaluate the entirety of the issue.

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    User avatar
    [-] Farrell

    Start at kindergarten challenging youth to think out the box.
    Reward teachers as though they were upper management.
    I get tired of hearing that if we dont pay executives enough we wont attract professionals yet we have teachers fighting for survival salaries.

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    [-] Mark

    I would like to see training programs in trade schools and technical colleges for renewable technologies, as well as continuing programs for construction (needed for additional affordable housing) and mechanics (for jobs in public transit). However, these programs should be more sustainable and lower carbon.

    We must put more funding into post-secondary education, with an eventual goal of making programs tuition-free.

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    [-] Keith

    Food cultivation, preparation and storage. clean energy generation and balancing with low consumption activities must be a part of all new skill development. Construction has to evolve to clean up the upfront carbon in the materials.

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    [-] trevor

    I think the greatest value that “trade schools” can play, will be to take in swarms of very-qualified, highly-skilled, displaced blue collar workers from fossil/sunset industries, and co-identify with experts in emerging technical trades, etc., all of the best applications of transferable skill sets.

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