So much has been said and written on the Coronavirus crisis, so many bleak prospects have been drawn. The electrical contracting sector has not been spared, with a dramatic fall in activity in many European countries and a slow upturn.
In this context, EuropeOn has decided to focus on a positive way to address the new challenges, to accelerate the recovery of a green, digital and resilient economy. From our perspective, great potential lies in the development of Skills for Climate to drive both climate-neutrality and a recovery full of job opportunities.
New and skilled workers are needed in our trade: indeed, in order to meet the 2030 climate objectives, it is estimated that, every day, 3.000 PV systems, 1.000 electrical vehicle charging points and 15.000 heat-pumps need to be installed across the EU.
The green transition calls for new skills which have to be mastered by a large manpower: skills in digitalisation, solar and wind installation, energy management systems, heat pumps setting, building automation and control systems, electric vehicles chargers, intelligent lighting systems, smart grids, and so on. According to many EU civil servants, Europe is lagging behind many international competitors in these fields.
We launched the Skills4Climate campaign last autumn, with the support of several EU associations engaged in energy transition and electrification. The new pandemic situation called for a renewed and stronger voice. This is why, along with 10 other associations and in the wake of the presentation of the “Next Generation EU” Recovery Plan, we wrote to the Commission and the Parliament on the 18th of May.
Investing in Skills will foster a virtuous circle for our generation as well as the future ones: such investments will materialise the energy transition, which will in turn boost growth in the clean energy sector, accelerating both employment in green activities and climate-neutrality achievement, which leads to matching skills investments, thus closing the loop.
More skills mean numerous, green, local and qualified jobs. Indeed, electrical contractors are already reporting many vacancies matching the new opportunities offered by the energy transition. Investing in climate-related skills will also be the guarantee for sustainable, and, by definition, permanent jobs, which will in turn bring resilience to the sector. Working on local installations and decentralized energy systems, the new jobs will not be delocalized. Finally, more skills means a greater variety of career paths, with more digitalization, added value,andincreased income and attractiveness for the younger professionals.
Finally, investing now in skills and training is a future-proof way to reply to massive threats of jobs destruction across Europe
For all these reasons, EuropeOn and its supporters have called on EU policy makers to:
- Intertwine Skills and Climate in the upcoming EU and national Recovery plans, with funding made available for Member States to develop, circulate and incentivise Skills for Climate across Europe through Technical Education, Apprenticeships, Re-Skilling and Up- Skilling;
- Take advantage of the upcoming initiatives on the Renovation Wave, Smart Sector integration, Sustainable and Smart Mobility and Consumers Empowerment in the Green Transition to roll out sectoral and cross-sectoral initiatives on Skills in digitalisation and decarbonisation. (see also our article on e-mobility)
- Strengthen Public-Private partnerships with a focus on Skills for Climate, including Digitalisation, to ensure that students have the most relevant skills when entering the job market.
- Make the Just Transition Fund available for re-skilling programmes to answer to the manpower shortage in digitalisation, near zero-energy building renovation, decentralised renewable based systems and e-mobility.
To read the letter, click HERE
To learn more about the #Skills4Climate campaign and its supporters, click HERE