February 2017

Green Jobs and the Future of Work

The theme of jobs and the economy is never more present than in the lead-up to an election. South of the border, we saw an election result that many attribute to heightened voter concern about job loss and economic decline. While trade agreements have played a role in increased unemployment in some areas, evidence points to technology and a lower demand for fossil fuels globally as the long-term job-loss culprits.

Around the world, technology is rapidly changing workplaces. From service industries to manufacturing, automation is the contributing factor in the shift away from full-time, permanent work to part-time and temporary jobs. And, according to a recent CBC report the shift is having a disproportionate effect on men: “Male-dominated industries are disappearing, leaving a pool of men with largely non-transferable skills unemployed. In just the past four years, nearly 70,000 jobs were lost in the manufacturing and agriculture sectors combined across the country.” At the same time, Canadian women, on average, continue to earn less than their male counterparts.

How will green jobs fare in the future of work? All indications suggest green jobs are where job growth is already occurring. The Washington-based Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2016 found that solar employment increased by 25 percent over 2015, accounting for one out of every 50 new jobs created in the U.S.

Take a read through this month’s curated green jobs news to learn more about the global momentum towards renewable energy and a low carbon economy that is changing the future of work.  

February’s Curated Green Jobs Reading List

Working Without a Net - Rethinking Canada’s social policy in the new age of work

Sunil Johal & Jordann Thirgood | Mowat Centre | November 22, 2016

This report explores the implications of new technologies on Canada’s economy and labour market and the adequacy of current social programs and policies supporting workers.

Read: Working Without a Net

Millennials Looking for a Place in the Emerging Green Economy

Steven Cohen, Executive Director, Columbia University’s Earth Institute | Huffington Post | January 23, 2017

This article explores Cohen’s insights on recent cohorts of graduate school applicants; what they already know and are looking for in their future work. “My prospective students know that sustainability will be a major factor in the economic life they are entering. The future economy of the United States is easy to see in New York City and in many parts of Texas, Massachusetts, Oregon, Colorado, Washington State and California. That’s because the economic future has started to arrive in those places. The transition from one-time use of resources is not a theory but an emerging reality.”

Read: Millennials Looking for a Place in the Emerging Green Economy

Problem for an entire gender: Boys, men not adapting to changing job market

Angela Hennessy | CBC News | February 8, 2017

While job opportunities in female-dominated industries like health and elder care are on the rise, men are staying away. Is the next generation of job-seekers getting the right information about the future of jobs as we trend towards a low carbon economy?

Read: Problem for an entire gender: Boys, men not adapting to changing job market

Upcoming Events 


Stories to be Heard, Not Yet Told

As you may know, the Green Jobs BC secretariat is hosted by Columbia Institute. Without Columbia's administrative and office support, we would not be able to continue the important work of advancing the transition to a low carbon economy here in BC.

Columbia Institute and The Tyee warmly invite you to an evening of storytelling, eating, drinking, and merriment to celebrate and fundraise for the work of these two organizations.

  • Life in Super Unequal British Columbia --  Andrew MacLeod, Author and legislative bureau chief
  • Bringing Public Services Back in House -- Gaëtan Royer, former Port Moody city manager and author
  • Youth Voices -- Katie Hyslop, Reporter
  • Cities and Climate Change -- Greg Moore, Mayor of Port Coquitlam
  • Housing and Belonging -- Chris Cheung, Reporter
  • Millennials and Climate Change -- Geoff Dembicki, Freelance journalist and author

The evening includes a delicious Ethiopian buffet dinner, a raffle, and mingling with friends who care about the communities we live in. There will also be a cash/credit card bar with wine and beer. Here are the details:

Date: Monday, March 6, 2017

Time: 5:30 pm (doors open) to 9:00 pm

Where: Creekside Community Centre, 1 Athletes Way, Vancouver, BC

Tickets: $100 per person, or $950 for a table of 10.

Charitable tax receipts will be issued in early 2018 from Columbia Institute for a portion of the ticket price.

Click here to purchase tickets.


The Youth Eco Internship Program (YEIP)

The Youth Eco Internship program (YEIP) provides job-seeking youth with 3 weeks of group-based pre-employment skills training (communications skills, First Aid certification etc.), followed by a 12 week work experience placement (with the intent of leading to long-term employment).

The aim of this program is for youth participants to find employment with green employers. Employer partners benefit from a full wage subsidy - $10.85/hr plus all Mandatory Employment Related Costs (MERCs). The purpose of this subsidy is to cover the probationary period of the participant's employment. Placements must be full-time to qualify (37.5 hrs a week) and can be in a variety of entry-level positions. The first cohort of program participants will be looking to start work the week of February 20th. YEIP will train another two cohorts, with participants looking for work in late March and late May.

This exciting program is a collaboration between the YMCA and YWCA Canada, with funding provided by the Government of Canada’s Economic Action Plan.

Click here to learn more.



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