University of Technology, Sydney Institute for Sustainable Futures

Trade Secrets “green skills” Project

Support from the James N. Kirby Foundation is helping to fill a well-documented ‘green skills’ gap in the housing industry. The Trade Secrets Project will produce a series of practical and concise video segments for builders and tradespeople on how to implement a range of different green skills, from installing a rainwater system to working with more sustainable building materials such as ‘green’ concrete. These videos can be viewed online or via mobile phone.

The project targets ‘mainstream’ builders and tradespeople already in the workforce. As well as supporting them to adopt greener practices straight away, the videos raise awareness about further formal training opportunities. Participation rates in formal training are still relatively low, since this target audience tends to be time poor with limited receptivity to a classroom mode of training. They also tend to be visual learners who like to learn from their peers through stories and case studies. The video format was chosen to respond to this and to make content easily accessible. Segments will be presented by tradespeople who are expert in green skills, with the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney guiding the research and content development.

The project partners include the Dusseldorp Skills Forum, the Housing Industry Association of Australia, Master Plumbers, the National Electrical and Communications Association and WorldSkills Australia.

The NSW Government has funded a series of videos on energy and water topics, and this generous support from the James N. Kirby Foundation extends the coverage to building materials. The Trade Secrets Project is set up so that videos on further topics can be added over time to cater for growing interest and demand.

Caitlin McGee
Research Principal, Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS

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