EuropeOn prides itself on representing some of the key professionals behind the implementation of the green and digital transitions: electrical contractors. However, we cannot ignore that the so-called twin transitions must be met with the adequate contingent of skilled workers and that this is a crucial challenge.
Progress is made every year, however, electrical contractors associations around Europe are raising awareness on the need to set up more training facilities, make skilling programmes up-to-date and promote technical education which suffers too often from a “second-class” image.
Since 2019, EuropeOn has been echoing these concerns at European level through its flagship #Skills4Climate campaign, which took an even more pressing turn with the EU’s ambition to become climate-neutral by 2050 and to recover from the Covid crisis in a sustainable way.
- Signing the EU Pact for Skills
Continuously working on the skills agenda, EuropeOn signed on 14 June the EU Pact for Skills, launched by EU Commissioners Nicolas Schmit and Thierry Breton. The Pact focuses on 4 key principles:
- Promoting a culture of lifelong learning for all
- Building strong skills partnerships
- Monitoring skills supply/demand and anticipating skills needs
- Working against discrimination and for gender equality and equal opportunities
EuropeOn members are deeply committed to train skilled and enthusiastic professionals for the green and digital transition. New projects have been launched in recent years or even recent months on attracting women in the industry (see other news), re-skilling workers from other sectors, developing new programmes to unlock the potential of renewable technologies and system integration.
- Internal roundtable on the image of the installation sector
As part of EuropeOn’s Skills Group, our association held on 23 June an internal roundtable on the (lack of) attractiveness of the installation sector. The discussion focused on the misconceptions that electrical contracting careers face and how national associations are challenging this perception. The clichés are well-known: electrical contractors’ careers are too often viewed as hard (if not dangerous), low-skilled, old-fashioned, macho, repetitive, low-paid, a dead-end, and so on and so forth.
EuropeOn members showed with vivid examples how the trade has evolved dramatically over the past few years, thanks to new technologies and new requirements in terms of sustainability and comfort. Companies and citizens’ new needs have been translated into a wider range of missions, skillsets and careers. Yet, our sector, and technical education altogether, are still overall perceived as a default choice, or not a choice at all.
It certainly takes time to change public opinion, this is why some of our members presented their strategies to target younger students as well as their parents and their teachers, with tailored messages. Others are challenging old clichés by emphasising the new reality of electrical contracting careers: actively contributing to a greener society, working with ever-evolving technologies, benefitting from job security and huge career developments (for example from being an installer to becoming project leader or technical expert). Other assets were always there but are better highlighted, whether it’s the team spirit or the hands-on activity.
Moving away from being “installers”, electrical contractors are becoming “integrators”, acting as the key interface between people and the buildings they live or work in, the (e-)cars and infrastructure they use. They put the energy transition in motion and switch Europe on. Our members have been increasingly demonstrating this renewed mindset in recent media campaigns (see our Members’ Corner).
EuropeOn members can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the full presentation deck and recording of the 23 June event.