EuropeOn welcomes the European Parliament’s ambition for skills and workforce

Since 2019, EuropeOn has endeavoured to raise more awareness among EU institutions and stakeholders active in the energy sector about the looming shortage of skills and workforce that could seriously hamper climate action and the energy transition. Electrical contractors were already stretched thin to meet the demand for traditional electrical work as well as for new, clean energy, technologies such as solar PV, heat pumps, EV charging or building automation. In this context, we started the #Skills4Climate campaign, which meant to highlight this issue and call for urgent action.

A few years later, we have seen a new impetus for ambitious climate and energy policy to further drive emission reductions and clean energy installations. Then, the current energy crisis added on to the policy momentum to make the urgency of the energy transition plain to everyone. Now that energy bills are skyrocketing, everyone wants solar panels and energy efficient buildings. But the needed workforce is still the same as a few years ago.

This situation has led policymakers at EU level to start better considering the workforce dimension of energy and climate policies. As we called for in the early days of the #Skills4Climate campaign, energy policy is starting to be intertwined with skills policy.

Indeed, on 14 September, the EU Parliament voted in Plenary session to include new skills provisions in the Directives for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. According to these new provisions, Member States will have to assess the gap between available and needed professionals to reach their climate and energy goals. This is the key starting point to address skills and workforce shortages and avoid any bottlenecks in the near future. Further, including such a provision in EU legislation is a no brainer and no regret option. The right human capital provisions are key enablers for energy policy, without which the EU’s legally binding climate targets will not be achieved. On the other hand, this is also a great opportunity to create thousands of lasting, local and green jobs!

With the Parliament’s position officially adopted, it is now to the Member States to safeguard these provisions to ensure the aims of these Directives can be achieved.

Read our press release following the Parliament’s vote.