The paper discusses changes both in environmental education and in the labour market of environmental professionals, within the context of the European Union. Changes in the Netherlands are estimated using statistical data from the 1970s to the present illustrating that the life-cycle of environmental education is related directly to changes within policy-making and thus the labour market. The author contends that strict environmental policy invokes investments in pollution controls, which then trigger demands for technical specialists with environmental expertise. A few years after the investment upswing, the demand for environmental management and administrators grows and the environmental labour market is at the point of maximum expansion. After a few decades, the market becomes saturated and demand takes a downturn. The paper outlines how the education of environmental professionals follows the same cyclical pattern but with a few years of delay. Within a three-decade cycle, the educational strands decay, or they innovate to stay in tune with new issues. Options for such innovations are indicated.
- Environmental education
- Environmental policy