The Environment, Employment, and Sustainable Development

By Monica Hale; Mike Lachowicz | Go to book overview

23

REACHING A COMMON LANGUAGE OF SKILLS, QUALIFICATIONS AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Martin CahnThe goal posed in the title of this chapter presupposes a desire to achieve a common understanding. European legislation on the open market and EC policy clearly looks to harmonising qualifications, but it was clear from the contributions of speakers at the conference ‘Careers in the Environment across Europe’ that this would not be an easy goal to achieve in practice. The goal was examined by posing four basic questions:
1 Why do we want to reach a common language of skills?
2 Who are the environmental professionals?
3 How could a common language of skills be achieved if this goal is aimed at?
4 Who pays for the work involved in achieving commonality in the environment profession?

The vast bulk of the discussion centred on question 1.


WHY DO WE WANT TO REACH A COMMON LANGUAGE OF SKILLS?

The European Federation of Environment Professionals (EFEP) project on mutual recognition has been completed although it is difficult to achieve a common language of skills. There are two possible reasons why movement of environmental professionals between countries should be encouraged and promoted. International movement is currently very limited—only 5 per cent of the total workforce overall in Member States, and less for environmental professionals. Town planners, a regulated profession within the environmental arena, have established an adaptation mechanism under the directive covering

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