Skills in the green economy: recycling promises in the UK e-waste management sector

Bozkurt, Ödül and Stowell, Alison (2016) Skills in the green economy: recycling promises in the UK e-waste management sector. New Technology, Work and Employment, 31 (2). pp. 146-160. ISSN 0268-1072

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Abstract

In advanced economies the ‘greening’ of the economy is widely seen as promising extensive job creation and upskilling, alongside its other benefits. In popular and policy rhetoric, the growing importance of ‘green skills’ is asserted frequently. This paper critically examines these claims within the context of the electronic waste management sector in the UK. Drawing on the cases of a non profit organisation and a small private enterprise in North West England, we observe that despite government support for developing skills in e-waste, both the development and utilisation of skills remain minimal. Critically, the relatively more skill-intensive process of reuse is substantially less profitable than recycling and resource capture. The paper concludes by noting that the expectations from the green economy for high quality jobs need to be assessed within the context of similar, misplaced celebrations of previous transformations of work in order to avoid recycling the same promises.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Green skills, Reuse and recycling, Skills policy, E-waste management, Green economy, Skills supply and demand
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Business and Management
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences > GE195 Environmentalism. Green movement
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences > GE300 Environmental management
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labour > HD0028 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labour > HD4801 Labour. Work. Working class > HD4861 Labour systems
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labour > HD4801 Labour. Work. Working class > HD6951 Industrial sociology. Social conditions of labour
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labour > HD9000 Special industries and trades > HD9999 Miscellaneous industries and trades
Depositing User: Odul Bozkurt
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2016 15:12
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2017 18:06
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/61438

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