TAFE National Conference Sydney, NSW Australia August 14th 2009
Delivered by: Matthew Tukaki, General Manager of Government and the Public Sector
Good morning ladies and gentlemen and thank you very much for that warm introduction. First I would like to start by acknowledging the traditional owners of this land the Galigal people and pay my respects to their ancestors and elders. Also, can I say it is a pleasure to be here today, at a TAFE gathering of like minded people interested in a subject that may just become the next iteration of workforce structure - something I will discuss during my speech today. Notwithstanding, Drake and myself in particular are great supporters of public education, indeed, we are strong supporters of vocational and technical education. I myself am the product of a public education, something I am very proud of. Additionally I acknowledge the presence of the CSIRO, who in my mind is one of the worlds leading scientifi c organisations. It is an honour to be amongst you for a conference, a gathering, a Coro boree if you will on what is a component of one the biggest global debates we have witnessed in recent human history. That component, for me, is the rise of the green collar workforce.
This morning, ahead of the panel discussion I am going to focus on five key themes:
- What is the Green Collar Workforce?
- How will we defi ne a Green Job?
- What is happening globally and locally?
- The timeline for change
- Why is it so important that TAFE and education providers play a signifi cant role in the development of this sector?
Some of these themes will be interlinked but, primarily, towards the end I will focus on why it is so important that education providers play a signifi cant role in the rise of the green collar workforce.
A brief overview of Drake and the Government Team
Before that, however, I should, for those who don't know, answer the very simple question of "who is Drake".
Essentially Drake is one of the oldest and largest of the employment and human resources companies in the world. Of our more than 50 years of history, we have spent more than 42 operating in Australia where I am based.
Our workforce and our client base touch literally every job role within Government, business and industry. From street cleaners in some of our major global capitals to engineers deployed to defence bases, from teacher aides in classrooms to offi ce workers in banks and call centres. From workers on factory lines to mechanics and loaders in heavy industry and manufacturing. In more than 50 years of history we have assisted tens and hundreds of thousands of people into employment.
We are not just an employment company - we also manage and implement employee assistance programs, provide clinical care and trauma management as major incidents occur such as accidents, in the workplace. We have a medical division, training and education division and a solution division. One of our latest achievements is the deployment of a new program into workplaces called Saftey4Life - protecting workers at work. helping organisations to develop policies on workplace harassment and bullying.
We also have a global reach - our operations span Australia, North America, Africa, Asia and Europe, and, of course I can't help mentioning, New Zealand. Here, in New South Wales, our branch network extends across the Metropolitan region, Wollongong, Newcastle, and the Central Coast - towards the border to Victoria in Albury through to the border of Queensland. We operate in every capital city across the continent right into the Pilbara with our Karratha branch.
About the Government Team
From my own perspective I manage one of the company's largest revenue lines. Government. The market value of this line of business currently sits at just over $4 Billion per annum. In Australia that means I am responsible, and accountable for local, state and federal government clients such as Defence, Human Services and Intelligence, TAFE here in NSW and Justice in Victoria. In Local Government, City Councils such as the City of Sydney, Subiaco and Redlands.
I also work with Governments, Ministers and Oppositions to put forward Drakes view when it comes to policy formulation - for example, on Wednesday this week I met with Members of Parliament in Victoria to discuss a broad based industry policy approach to green jobs. Yesterday, at the same time the ETS legislation was being debated in the Senate, a letter from me urging them "to seal a deal" on climate change ahead of Copenhagen was arriving in Senators inboxes. At Drake we are not afraid to act on behalf of our clients and our candidates when it comes to expressing a view on major issues of the day.
National and Global Programs
I am also responsible for implementing and managing a range of programs both nationally and globally. Throughout my presentation today I will make reference to a range of data, examples and information - most of which comes as a result of our partnership with the United Nations and, more specifi cally, the United Nations Global Compact. The UNGC is a partnership between business and industry, the United Nations and affiliated organisations such as the ILO, the UNEP and the UNDP. We work to promote key principles that underpin strategies to fight corruption, support labour equity in both developed and developing countries, support human rights in addition to policies around environmental sustainability. I am very proud to be a member of the UNGC's Local Area Networks Working Group - and if anyone would like information about the UNGC please approach me.
What is the Green Collar Workforce?
So with that, let's begin the journey and ask the first question: what is the Green Collar Workforce?
Definitions of a Green Collar Worker
Just as there are a hundred different definitions for knowledge management, so to are they varying degrees of definitions for a green collar worker. If you believe Wikipedia - and millions of people do, a green collar worker is generally defined as a person who works within the renewable or environment sector of industry, government or the community.
The United Nations Environment Program defines a green job as one that contributes substantially to preserving or restoring environmental quality.
Definition of Industry Categories
While both of those definitions are good and well meaning the reality is they rely on the premise that a green job and therefore a green collar worker is someone invariably attached to the either the renewable or environment sectors - solar power, wind power, hydro etc.
The United States Department of Labour has taken a unique and interesting approach by defi ning three main occupation areas:
- Green Growth Occupations - Existing occupations expected to increase in demand due to the addition of greener processes. Some new skills are expected to be needed.
- Green Enhanced Occupations - Existing occupations that will experience signifi cant change in work and worker skill requirements.
- Green New & Emerging Occupations - Unique new work and worker skill requirements. Will result in new occupations.
Definition of Industry Categories
More specifically the United States Department of Labour expect that these new occupations will exist with 12 specific industry categories:
- Research Design & Consulting
- Renewable Energy Generation
- Green Construction
- Environmental Protection
- Government & Regulatory Administration
- Energy Efficiency
- Agriculture & Forestry
- Recycling & Waste Reduction
- Energy Trading
- Energy Carbon Capture
Every one of those industry categories is about new job creation and cross skilling - not one job negating or being lost to another.
Industry Category 8: Energy Efficiency
For example, industry category number 8 - Energy Efficiency. In the year 2000 the UK Government released a report indicating that for every $1.6 Million invested in residential energy effi ciency between 11.25 and 13.25 new jobs would be created. The current Australian Government released a funding package of a similar nature to insulate Australian homes to create more energy efficient houses. Did you know that it takes between 40 and 65% less energy to produce secondary steel over primary steel? But ask yourself this question, do we have the skills in our economy today necessary to utilise secondary steel in the construction of buildings and infrastructure? We are investing billions of dollars in infrastructure projects but do our civil engineers, architects, builders and chippies understand how to use renewable products in their construction?
Industry Category 6: Transportation
Take industry category number 8: transportation - we can produce hybrid cars and sure enough that will produce a range of new green jobs in terms of manufacturing - but are cars the key to lowering our carbon footprint or should we be looking in more detail at mass transit and public transportation?
- 1.3 Million people work in public transport in the United States and the EU
- India is introducing 6,100 CNG buses by the end of 2009
- This will lead to 19,000 new jobs
- 5 million people are employed in the railways in China
- RailCorp have recently indicated that more and more people are moving to public transport
Industry Category 3: Renewable Energy Generation
Then there is the renewable energy generation sector. To Australia this should be a signifi cant area of jobs growth. The debate unfortunately is being taken over by the fact there is concern that an ETS will lead to the loss of tens of thousands of jobs in the coal sector. This discussion clouds the debate around investment and growth in the renewable energy sector because both are stand alone issues. Investment in Renewable Energy Generation is about the growth of new industries and therefore new jobs whereas the impact of coal on an ETS should be about future transitional arrangements and therefore cross skilling an industry into clean coal technology - both can live in harmony and both can lead to carbon emission reductions. But again, lets look at only one area and that is jobs growth from investment in renewable energy generation - according to a United Nations Environment Program report released in 2008 more than 2.3 million jobs were created in the renewable sector in 2006 alone. In our interests 29% of those jobs were related specifi cally to solar energy while a further 300,000 were in wind. By this time next year the solar energy sector can expect growth of more than 49%.
So what is a green Job?
So what is a green job? A Green Job will be all jobs; a Green Collar Worker will inevitably be the next iteration of our workforce: it is not a supplement to the white or blue collar workforce - it is simply an evolution to a new form of workplace and therefore work environment diversity.
And don't fear we have been here before - the last big change in workforce diversity was the rise of the IT worker. Over the past 30 years IT has changed the way we live, work and play. It permeates our homes and our workplaces, it even tells us where to go when we're happily driving along lost on some dodgy country road - yes IT has given us SATNAV, IPod's, play stations, CRM, ERM HRM ITM KM. we even had a new language established - anyone who was anyone would slap an "e" in front of a word, you knock up a business proposal on a piece of A4, hop on the plane to New York and simply say "e" door or "e" window. The venture capitalists would salivate around the boardroom table, write a cheque for $100 million and before bobs your uncle there's been an IPO and you're now living in Switzerland. So, if that's one way of describing the rise of the IT worker, familiarity with the word "e" and its translation into eHealth, eLearning or eBanking - then what about some familiarity to describe the rise of a green economy and a green collar worker - you heard it here fi rst - how about the rise of GHEALTH, GLEARNER, GBANKING, GENERGY, GSCIENCE, GSKILLS and - god forbid GDOOR and GWINDOW - for the record, and this is how innovative you can be - GDOOR is a term given to a house with no electricity guzzling air conditioner and you simply leave two windows open at opposite ends of the house to allow the air to fl ow through - free of charge and no power required.
What is driving green jobs?
So what is driving green jobs?
Firstly, never underestimate the power of consumer demand. The primary driver of the development of green jobs, green industries and green products is you and I, our children and our neighbours. Science Daily recently reported that the consumer products giant Clorox is working around the clock to release a new line of cleaner and greener cleaning products for the household - they are even branding the products as "Green Works". When we fly Qantas and Virgin we can offset our journey through the purchase of carbon credits. Jack Green, a new energy and electricity reseller can make us feel good about ourselves by using them to reduce our energy load. So we, you and I, are driving green jobs growth - right down to the fact we are more conscious of our energy consumption both at home and at work.
Why has consumer demand become so important? It is important because of one inevitable and unalienable truth - our climate and our environment, whether you agree or disagree with the science is changing. Drought is longer, food production in developing countries is down. We see it on the news every day and every night and we are reacting to it.
The other important driving force comes about because of consumer demand and it translates into voter demand. Just as we demand cleaner and greener products and services from business and industry - we also require structured and meaningful policies on the environment, green jobs investment, green industry support and green skills development from our Governments. Welcome to the age old world of voter demand. We do it every three or four years at the ballot box.
This in turn has translated, albeit not in isolation, to the development of Government policies such as an Emissions Trading Scheme. Legislated regulation that, has already had its fi rst vote in the Senate. Again, wrapped up in this debate is the fact that thousands of jobs will be lost - I stand here to debate that issue because from our perspective jobs will be created through the investment in new technologies and greener industries while at the same time we transition older industries into a new environment through cross skilling and job retention programs.
To assist in these programs Government is spending and spending big. Investment is the new catch-call and my goodness are we talking a lot of money:
- $200 - $210 Billion (USD) will go into mitigation strategies by 2030
- $100 Billion + will go into adaptation
- Investments into energy supply infrastructure is estimated at $762 Billion
- In 2006 investment in sustainable energy reached $70.9 Billion, a 43% increase from 2005 (UNEP)
- TODAY: the global market volume for environmental products and services:
- Efficiency, recycling, water sanitation (and efficiency) and sustainable transport = 1,000 Billion euro increasing to 2,200 Billion euro by 2020
What is happening globally and locally?
Rather than focus on what Australia is doing, lets take a look at two case studies - the first is the United States and President Obama's Green Jobs Act.
Case Study: Obama and the Green Jobs Act 2007
- The Green Jobs Act is an investment of $125 million to reform State and National Education systems
- Establishment of programs to fill current skills gaps and job shortages that are impacting green industries
- The Bill was introduced by Democrat Hilda Solis in 2007
- The new Labour Secretary in the Obama cabinet
- The Bill was sponsored through the Senate by Hillary Clinton
- It was a central plank of President Obama's $150 Billion "New Energy for America Package"
- The United States is supporting green industries as move towards energy independence and reliance
- ...while using the policy to create and stimulate jobs
Case Study: The rise of a city in the Desert
Think for a moment about this: the World's third largest oil producer, pumping out more than 2.4 billion barrels a day, sits on the world's fourth largest gas reserves, or six trillion metres. According to a World Wildlife Fund report this same producer has the world's largest ecological footprint and, therefore, consumes more natural resources per capita than any other country. The place is the United Arab Emirates and, more specifi cally, the tiny Emirate of Abu Dhabi. As Oil crept towards $150 per barrel, the Emirate was literally swimming in cash and, more importantly, they, along with other OPEC nations can always reduce supply to maintain prices. So, money is not the issue. Even though the price of oil has now fallen below $50 per barrel, this tiny little nation has embarked on one of the largest green industry construction projects in the world, a little more about that in a moment. The population of the United Arab Emirates is 4,621,399 (2006 Census) and the population of Abu Dhabi 945,267.
Abu Dhabi is in the middle of constructing Masdar City at a cost of $22 billion. When completed it will be the world's first city to have zero emissions. Masdar, in Arabic means the "source" and the initiative was established by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. Aside from a massive construction project and development of a new city, the program also seeks to establish the UAE as a leader on the world stage when it comes to climate change and carbon management. There is a commitment to the establishment of a post graduate research institute, investment in sustainable technologies (for use at home and for export) and the development of a carbon management unit. Powering this city in the sun will be a massive network of solar panels feeding into a series of solar plants. Just over 80% of the water will be recycled and the city will be resident to more than 40,000 people with 50,000 people commuting daily for work or study. Importantly this new city currently employs thousands of construction workers, professionals, engineers, tradesmen in addition to a large contingent workforce.
Timeline for change
We either lead or we will be overtaken by others. President Obama in March of this year said:
"So we have a choice to make. We can remain one of the world's leading importers of foreign oil, or we can make the investments that would allow us to become the world's leading exporter of renewable energy. We can let climate change continue to go unchecked, or we can help stop it. We can let the jobs of tomorrow be created abroad, or we can create those jobs right here in America and lay the foundation for lasting prosperity."
We need to be creating these jobs right here in Australia.
The significance of TAFES role
First of all, never underestimate the power of our vocational and technical education institutions. TAFE and similar providers play a signifi cant role in the development and rise of the green collar workforce.
Earlier in my speech I alluded to the fact that it took between 40-75% less energy to produce secondary steel - but do we have trained engineers and trades people who know and understand how to use renewable bi-products in the construction of our buildings and roads, bridges and public transportation systems?
Slide Twenty Three: the role of TAFE:
This is where we need to look at job re-design, how will roles be different tomorrow versus today?
- What do we need to do to re-skill or cross skill our work forces - workforce planning is the key
- Investment in education - we need to make sure that our education system is equipped to educate our new workforces = programs to support green skills, curriculum that focuses on career paths that will be different to what we currently Have
- Changes in demand lead to suppliers changing what they supply - Industry and Public Sector led education
- Investing in Green Technologies requires skilled people
Ladies and gentlemen, TAFE has a unique opportunity to position itself to be a leader both here at home and abroad.
Trust me, there is nothing like being on the cusp of a new industry that has the potential to change the way we work, act, live and play. I should know my boss, Bill Pollock was at the forefront of such an industry - the recruitment and employment sector. When Bill created Drake in the early 1950's he saw the potential, seized the opportunity and built one of the strongest brands associated with the sector today. Locally, Ron Urwin, our former Chief Executive did the same locally.
The cusp of a new industry and a new sector can easily be crossed - it happens all of the time.
Can you develop a broad based approach to industry skills development? Yes you can
Can you develop curriculum and quality training framework, in collaboration with business and industry, to provide the skills necessary to support green jobs and new green industries? Yes you can
Can you provide leadership in the field of green skills and green vocational education? Yes you can.
The challenge for Drake is to support our clients in their demand. Drake is renowned for seeing the rise of new industries and sectors and this, today, is an example of our proactive approach to support growth.
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your time and we look forward to working with you all.