AIE becomes EuropeOn and launches new campaign!

20 November 2019 – After 65 years as AIE, the European Electrical Contractors’ Association has changed its visual identity and is now called EuropeOn. The name EuropeOn was chosen to reflect our sector’s vital contribution to virtually all areas of the European power- and digital-based economy and society.

Entitled #Skills4Climate, EuropeOn is releasing its first political communications campaign on skills in the electro-technical sector. This initiative – already endorsed by 10 European organisations from the electrical and construction industry – calls on policy makers to support the strengthening of the skill base in our sector, enabling our companies to swiftly roll out the clean energy technologies needed to achieve carbon neutrality.

Gérard Constantin, EuropeOn President – “Whether it is the energy transition or the digital transformation, our society is evolving quickly, and electrical contracting businesses are keeping up with the pace. Their work is at the nexus of digitalisation and decarbonisation, putting them at the centre of current regulatory plans for the future of Europe. Electrical contractors are taking on new responsibilities as our fossil way of life is called into question and as we lay the groundwork for a sustainable and carbon-free future for Europe. We decided to rebrand our association to match this new brand of electro-technical professionals.”

Giorgia Concas, EuropeOn Secretary General – “Electrification hinges on the availability of skilled electrical contractors, and the needed skills are continuously evolving. As we start to take action against climate change, the number and level of skill of the professionals involved in decarbonisation efforts needs to be at the centre of climate and energy plans. We therefore call on policy-makers, at EU and national level, to intertwine skills and climate policies, to foster public-private partnerships in setting up education programmes, and to incentivize technical education, re- and up- skilling, and apprenticeships.”

Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO, SolarPower Europe – “With solar booming in Europe and projections putting our technology on a rapid trajectory, the market is clearly ready for wide-scale solar installations. With the Green Deal set as a priority for the incoming European Commission, and members states implementing ambitious national targets, the political climate is primed for the clean energy transition. And with solar estimated to create 1.7 million jobs in Europe by 2050, there is massive long-term socioeconomic potential. Now it is important to ensure that there are sufficient skilled workers to support the roll out of solar and renewable technologies. EuropeOn’s #Skills4Climate campaign, calling for the EU to incentivise technical education and up-skilling, is crucial to develop the next generation of green jobs. A skilled workforce is a core ingredient of delivering a just transition for Europeans and supporting the EU’s ambitious climate and energy targets.”

Kristian Ruby, Secretary General, Eurelectric – “Change starts with people. Moving on to carbon-neutrality, electricity companies need a broad set of new skills to accelerate the deployment of renewables, update distribution grids, digitalise and speed up the electrification of transport, housing and industry. Today, the skills gap is a real issue and Europe risks lacking hundreds of thousands of competent workers by 2030. It is crucial that Europe invests in ensuring the development of future-oriented skills and qualifications to deliver on its climate objectives.“

Eugenio Quintieri, Secretary General, EBC – “EBC supports the #Skills4Climate campaign because the construction sector and its electrical trades are facing a shortage of qualified workforce in “green” skills. To achieve global climate objectives, greater support should be provided at national and EU level for learning opportunities in our sector: not only for the current professionals asked to demonstrate new capabilities in a fast-changing landscape, but also for the apprentices and potential newcomers wishing to develop in our businesses. We also lead the EU project “Construction Blueprint” in this direction, with the aim of improving the match between the needs of construction companies and the programmes offered by training centres as well as anticipating skills needs in the fields of digitalisation, circular economy and energy efficiency..”

Philippe Vangeel, AVERE Secretary General – “We support EuropeOn’s #skills4climate as training and re-skilling of technical professionals, namely the operators of charge points across Europe, will be key to support the mass uptake of electric vehicles across Europe. This will ensure the overall transition to zero emission transport.  Together with EuropeOn, AVERE calls on the EU to create more jobs and growth opportunities for the e-mobility sector by prioritising skills-related instruments in the upcoming European Green New Deal. This should be coupled with the leveraging of public-private partnerships to promote much needed knowledge and capacity building.“