Couverture Céreq Formation Emploi 135 - L'économie verte : rupture ou adaptation de la formation et de l'emploi ?
Formation Emploi (in English), n° 135, October 2016, 214 p.

The green economy: rupture or adaptation of training and employment?

Published on
3 October 2016

Only abstracts are in English (Texts are in French)

Editorial :Greening in Progress…
Jean-Frédéric Vergnies

Do green jobs constitute a reservoir of opportunities to solve unemployment, particularly among young people? At first glance, we still seem to be falling well short of the (possibly fanciful) target. Thus in France, the share of the area under cultivation given over to organic farming is less than 5%; green jobs are estimated to account for 0.5% of all jobs and so-called greening jobs for almost 14% .1
Nevertheless, the ecological transition is helping, often unobtrusively, to shape a new world order, which this issue will help to decipher in so far as it affects the links between training, work and employment.
It is not our aim here to explore the extent of climate change, the ecological transition, sustainable ‘degrowth’ or sustainable development. Rather, this issue offers detailed analyses of the transitions currently taking place. These transitions are not merely producing quantitative or qualitative changes but, more significantly, are giving rise to a change of ‘order’ affecting stakeholders, decision-making levels (global-local), values (modernity, ethics) and the relationships between knowledge/research and actions, between work-employment and organisation, etc.
Thus Emilie Bargues and Diego Landivar show that training organisations tend to pass on official knowledge, even though critical discourses and controversies abound. These controversies are also calling into question the functioning of the education system. Jean-François Métral, Paul Olry, Marie David, Philippe Prévost, Fanny Chrétien, Nadia Cancian, Nathalie Frère and Laurence Simonneaux analyse how the policy of reducing pesticide use is affecting teachers in agricultural colleges and calling into question the practices and norms adopted by teachers, tutors and students.
Similarly, the ‘rise to prominence of green skills’ raises profound issues in continuing training that go far beyond the organisation or reorganisation of training systems.
Thus for Jean France and Aurélie Tricoire, this change in the nature of the skills required in the construction industry calls into question the very structure of the industry. It also affects the industry’s self-concept: is it based on a traditional, technical approach or on a more global approach evolving over the long term? In the related area of solar panel installation, Hubert Amarillo, for his part, emphasises the place of social networks in the construction of skills. And with regard to experience with the first low-energy buildings in social housing organisations, Pascal Ughetto notes that, while the challenges appear at first sight to be technical in nature, ultimately they tend rather to concern the coordination between manufacturers, installers and maintenance companies and, to an even greater extent, the accumulation of experience and the facilitation of collective learning. Thus they fall less within the scope of training needs than of organisation and management. Joseph Cacciari, for his part, examines the ‘greening’ policy in the housing sector, taking as his starting point the occupation of energy advisor. He then argues that the green economy is uncertain about its very institutionalisation.
This issue concludes with a more economic perspective. Christelle L. Garrouste and Estelle Courtial present a tool for exploring the employability of geoscience and environmental sciences graduates which, over and above a purely quantitative approach, will facilitate a more qualitative analysis of the distribution of these graduates across a wide range of different occupations and activities. To conclude, Rémi Basillier’s postface emphasises that the ecological transition is unlikely to have a significant overall impact on employment; however, it will involve massive transfers of jobs, both within and between sectors. Consequently, these changes must be supported in order to ensure they are both feasible and acceptable.

  • 1. a. b. [1] In 2011, 143,000 people were employed in ‘green’ occupations, 45% in the production and distribution of energy and water and 36% in sanitation and waste treatment.

In the field of solar installing, there is still little room for the most ecological entrepreneurs

Hubert Amarillo

The solar photovoltaïc installing is a new market in which three types of contractors intervene : the “solar defenders”, characterized by their ecological belief ; the traditional craftsmen, and the subcontracting installers. It has been noticed that qualification wasn’t an element in which the firms were involved, but it is socially embedded reality. As to the “solar defenders”, the most legitímate to “testify” (according convention school) in favor of the ecological order of worth of their activity, they remain few. The reason is the lack of social networks able to support them.


Training Institutions as places of reproduction of official and scientific knowledges on ecological transition. An analysis with mapping controversies tools 

Emilie Bargues and Diego Landivar

Through an exploratory approach mobilizing a “mapping controversies methodology”, this article analyses the role of training institutions in producing, distributing and criticizing knowledges related to ecological transition. The current work deals with the case of biomass production and activity, a central sector in French ecological transition. The analysis of semantic and unstructured data crawled from 3900 websites highlights the major issues of controversy, the actors of the controversy, the points of agreement/disagreement among actors, and the particular position of training organizations in the knowledge structure. We find that these organizations are strongly correlated to official and scientific knowledges and less related to critical and marginal knowledges.


 The job of « Conseiller info énergie » : small uncertain hands of the French energy policies

Joseph Cacciari

This article examines the diffusion of the “green economy” from the Conseiller info énergie job, created in 2002. These advisors direct individuals in their proposed purchase of renewable energy equipment or energy renovation of their homes, to promote the “greening” of the housing sector. From the story and position of this activity, we support the green economy is caught in uncertainty as to its effective institutionalization.


Greener Refurbishment : the Obstacles to « Skill Up » the Building Craftmen 

Jean Frances and Aurélie Tricoire

To increase the energetic performance of housing, the French state and the professional organizations of the building sector decided to stimulate the market of energy efficiency refurbishment, which required to raise craftsmen’s technical skills. For this reason, they conjointly created in 2013 a training curricula for craftsmen, called FEEBat, and a related certification, the RGE label (an eco-label attributed to craftsmen or companies). However, since then the energy efficiency refurbishment market hasn’t take off. In this paper, we study the tensions between on the one hand training and certification processes and, on the other hand, the attempt to reform the sector in order to explain the observed stagnation.


Towards a strategic anticipation of “green competencies” : The CIPEGE tool

Christelle L. Garrouste and Estelle Courtial

The International Center for the Anticipation of Employment in Earth and Environmental Sciences (CIPEGE - Centre international de prospective de l’emploi en géosciences et environnement) is developing an anticipation tool aiming at mapping market trends and at anticipating the needs for competences in Earth Sciences and Environmental Sciences in France. This paper presents preliminary results at the horizon 2020 of this pluridisciplinary tool that combines forecasting techniques from econometrics and process control.


Ruptures or adjustments between agricultural practices and teaching these practices - Implementation and governance of the political reform “Alternatives agricultural Productions” 

Jean-François Métral, Paul Olry, Marie David, Fanny Chrétien, Philippe Prévost, Nadia Cancian, Nathalie Frère, Laurence Simonneaux

Pest reduction management policy affects farmers, but also teachers of agricultural schools. They face controversial, particularly in classrooms, among the children of farmers. We focus here on learning related to the aim of the reduction of inputs, as learning object, and the debates as a learning process. Mobilizing multidisciplinary research (agronomy, teaching, sociology), this paper focus on three questions : the controversial debates as a learning opportunity ; the effects of the structures, the division of labor, the coordination of actors in redefining / appropriation by the actors of the vocational agricultural training system ; the interaction “on the plot” beetween farmers/student as a conceptualisation moment. We are interested in ruptures or gradual adjustments of standards and practices experienced by teachers, tutors and students.


Greener jobs or re-greened organisation ? The energy transition challenge to France’s public housing employees

Pascal Ughetto

The bodies that supply France’s low-cost rental housing (HLM) are experimenting with their first low-energy buildings. What are the consequences for their employees’ jobs and skills ? At first sight, the impact does not appear to be dramatic, apart from the need to educate tenants about appropriate practices, in particular for local teams (including building caretakers). For the maintenance technicians, the challenge is to make adjustments to equipment characterised by poor coordination between manufacturers, installers and maintenance companies. As for the programme leaders, they have enjoyed a period of stimulating innovation. For all these professions, however, the priorities that have emerged relate to accumulating experience and contributing to collective learning, which means that the real need is not so much for training as for organisation and management.

The green economy: rupture or adaptation of training and employment?
The « Documentation française »
Formation Emploi , n° 135 , 2016 , 214 p.
Price 24,50 € 
Only abstracts are in English, texts are in French.  

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The green economy: rupture or adaptation of training and employment?, Formation Emploi (in English), n° 135, 2016, 214 p.