EuropeOn is launching new areas of reflection in its “Value Chain” and (brand-new) “Skills” working groups Strengthening electrical contractors’ position in the value chainEuropeOn’s Value Chain working group was initiated in 2019 and produced our very own Sector Report (late 2019) and Business Opportunities since Covid study (early 2021).The electrical contracting sector in Europe is going through a period of transformation. Emerging decentralised, electric and digital technologies and services are currently changing electrical contracting activities. Therefore, EuropeOn’s Value Chain working group is dedicated to sharing best practices and formulating recommendations on how EuropeOn and its member associations can help electrical contractors grow, develop and better engage with the whole value chain.In 2021, working group members decided to focus more specifically on how to strengthen electrical contractors’ position in the value chain. This reflection will materialise through a series of roundtables between members and, when relevant, experts and representatives of other segments of the value chain. The first roundtable will be focused on getting closer to clients. Indeed, working more closely with end-users is crucial for electrical contractors, as it enables them to propose more tailored offers, with increased added value. Engaging with end-users is also a good tool to have a better understanding of the new trends of the market. Besides, it is a key condition to ensure fair and in-time payment. Many more dimensions of “getting closer to clients” will be discussed at our first roundtable, with concrete examples and best practice from across Europe.If you are a member, or a member of our member associations and wish to attend this meeting, feel free to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.orgImproving skills development and attractiveness of the electrical contracting sectorEuropeOn has been raising awareness for years on the lack of skilled workers to tackle the upcoming challenge of a green and digital transition in Europe, leading the Skills4Climate campaign and bringing its message to several meetings with the EU Commission regarding the EU Pact for Skills.Indeed, no matter how high national and European objectives will be for a green and digital transition, we need skilled workers and companies to implement them. Many electrical contractors’ associations report significant vacancies in this field. EuropeOn identified two key problems: first, technical education still suffers from a poor image even though working in the energy efficiency ecosystem should be seen as purposeful, varied and rewarding. Second, it is crucial to accelerate the update of current curricula to integrate new skills fit for the energy transition.The next step appeared naturally, in the shape of a new working group. The “Skills Group” will be dedicated to the myriad of themes falling under the issues of improving skills development and the attractiveness of our sector. EuropeOn members met for the first time in late April and started brainstorming on themes such as “soft skills”, “image of the sector”, “attracting women”, “up-skilling” and so on.This first meeting will hopefully lead to sharing best practice and finding innovative ways to solving the skills gap, one step at a time.