Promoting Climate Literacy in British Columbia’s Apprenticeship System
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This research paper examines the efforts of the BC Insulators union to promote climate literacy within British Columbia via the a ‘Green Awareness’ course it provides as part of the apprenticeship training for all mechanical insulation trades’ workers in the British Columbia. The two-module course was introduced in 2011 and is taught over the course of the first two years of the four-year program. After conducting a review of the ‘Green Awareness’ course content, the research team performed qualitative interviews with a cohort of 2nd and 4th year apprentices to determine how effective the training had been. These findings indicate the need for further refinements in the content and delivery of the ‘Green Awareness’ course material. The authors conclude that incorporating climate change-related course content into the training process is an important step in fostering climate literacy within the industry and should be encouraged in other trades. However, its degree of impact will be limited unless more sweeping changes are made to the organization and culture of the construction industry itself. This paper was first presented in April 2017 at the International Labour Processes Conference, Sheffield, U.K..