What are Reskilling and Upskilling?

You may have heard of “reskilling,” “upskilling” or “skill-sharing” lately, particularly from folks in the Transition Town movement. In the corporate world, reskilling means improving the collective skill set of your team. That is a decent definition, but if we look at it through the lens of Transition Towns, or just from outside the corporate world, reskilling connotes a particular set of skills, and comes with certain motivations as well.

So what are these skills and why do we want to reskill?

Reskilling events are often associated with rural living, appropriate technology, and cottage industries that used to thrive in localized towns, but are being lost due to globalisation. Examples of these skills are raising chickens, knitting, tree pruning, and preserving food. The skills in question are ones that used to be well-known by many members of a community, because they were necessary for a pre-industrialized way of life. Since we can now easily buy everything from overseas, our knowledge of how to make things is being lost.  This luxury of cheap imports is taking such a toll on the environment, and can’t last forever, so we need to re-learn the basic skills that allow us to provide for ourselves.

Philip Barnes from Resilience writes

. . . in a carbon constrained and localized world, communities will have to provide for many of their basic needs which means possessing the skills to do so. Many individuals and communities currently lack those skills, hence the need to build capacity.

In other words, reskilling is about learning appropriate technologies that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, but many skills learned can become hobbies, side income or cottage industries, as people are increasingly aware of the importance of supporting local enterprises.

The Transition Town movement is one of the lenses through which The Deanery Project tracks its development, and we are a perfect venue to learn about many of these skills.

Join us on November 8th for Rural Roots, the first of many seasonal skill-sharing festivals.

Here is the Facebook Event Page.

rural roots posterIf you would like to present a skill, email thedeaneryproject@gmail.com, or give us a ring at 902-845-1888

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