Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED Programme)

Conference: OECD LEED-Cedefop Green Skills Forum 2012 (Paris, France)



27 February 2012, OECD Headquarters - Paris, France




Background / Purpose / Themes / Material / Contact




The forum aimed to draw on lessons from work conducted by the OECD, Cedefop, and other organisations on the implications of the green economy for skills development and training policies. These insights will contribute to the OECD’s Green Growth Strategy studies, such as the LEED projects on LEED project on measuring the potential of green growth and Improving the effectiveness of green local development initiatives, and  to Cedefop’s Green Skills activities, which contribute to the European Commission’s initiative on New Skills for New Jobs. The Forum also provided insights for the Rio+20 process and the G20 pillar on the "Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth" and the G20 work on "Development".

A transition to a greener economy is only possible by developing the skills, knowledge and competences required by resource-efficient, sustainable processes and technologies, and integrating these into our businesses and communities. While effective development strategies and activities for these skills are necessary to achieve green growth, their success relies on an integrated approach with other areas of workforce development and public policy.

The Green Skills forum was an opportunity to gather the latest insights on (1) what firms, trade unions and other organisations are already doing to foster the potential of green growth through skills development activities; (2) how strategies for green skills are integrated with other areas of workforce development and (3) tools and directions for further research.



The aim of this international forum of researchers, government advisers, employment and policy analysts and social partners actively involved in skills development and training needs for a low carbon economy was to review and discuss new research and policy approaches to foster a greener, more sustainable future.

It identified tools, strategies and local initiatives from theory to practice. The forum was conceived as an experts’ meeting; the discussions will assist OECD and CEDEFOP to draw future analytical work and research as well as to identify the obstacles and challenges lying ahead for the development of skills, education and training policies for a low carbon economy.

The conference papers, discussions and exchanges were expected to: 


Facilitate the understanding of the limitations and potentials inherent in research and policy approaches tackling key skills issues for a successful transition to a low carbon economy.


Compare methods and tools used in monitoring and evaluating developments in the green economy and local labour markets.


Indicate how research can support better targeted policy making and skills strategies.


Provide inspiration and ideas for future research and collaboration.


Provide information for processes towards the Rio+20 and G20 related meetings.



The Forum comprised of an introductory session with keynote speeches followed by a research forum consisting of three focused plenary sessions about the following themes:

Theme 1 - Gearing up education and training for green growth

  • How best can we enable education and training systems to adjust to emerging areas of green growth and stimulate diverse pathways to green jobs?
  • What measures can be taken to make pathways to green jobs more attractive, particularly to women and young people, and to stimulate entrepreneurship in this field?

Theme 2 - Enterprising approaches to developing a workforce fit for a green economy

  • What good practices are there to enhance the skills of the existing workforce to adapt to and benefit from a greener economy? How SMEs are equipping their workforce and talent?
  • Which tools and activities do businesses use to anticipate and monitor market development in the green sector for their occupational requirements and skill needs?

Theme 3 - Integrating skills into local development strategies for green job creation

  • What best practices exist for integrating skills development strategies with other areas of public policy to promote green growth, particularly at local level?
  • Which measures can be used to monitor and evaluate how local labour markets are making the transition to greener activities?



The agenda and other materials are available on the event special website.

Download the summary note.
We thank discussants Lucia Cusmano, Wolfgang Mueller, Ray Pinto, Roland Schneider and Paul Swaim for their contribution to the summary note.



For further information please contact Cristina Martinez at the OECD Secretariat.