EuropeOn and the Electrification alliance release a “Skills Brief” showing the job creation potential of electrification in Europe

Just in time for the beginning of the 2023 EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) in Brussels, which focused on the European Year of Skills, the Electrification Alliance (a network of 10 European organisations, including ours) released a new report highlighting job creation opportunities associated with a switch to clean and renewable electrification.

The message is clear: electrification is not just good for the climate, it can boost the EU’s economy by creating thousands of jobs and stimulating local growth, while lowering energy bills for industry and consumers. With increasing attention to the competitiveness of the European economy, this report emphasises how electrifying Europe will make it prosper, with more jobs that are local, purposeful, and require a variety of skill levels.

The report was presented at EUSEW by the different members of the Alliance. It was also briefly summarized by our General Secretary, Julie Beaufils, at an event organised by Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Brussels, for the release of IRENA’s latest study on smart electrification.

Deep-dives into electrification job profiles featured in this report illustrate the potential as well as the quality of jobs in electrification: electrical contractors, electric vehicle professionals, grid expansionists, heat pump technicians, solar specialists, wind workers, digital wizards… there are job opportunities for all. Just looking at the electrical contracting sector, EuropeOn estimated that at least 270.000 additional electrical contractors positions can be created in Europe by 2030 if we double energy renovation rates, as aimed for by the EU “Renovation Wave” strategy. Besides, we expect 400.000 additional jobs related to the deployment of rooftop solar, heat pumps and EV charging points.

But in order for this growth and employment potential to materialise, both EU and Member Sates have to provide a framework that will encourage Europeans to gravitate towards green jobs. More practically, the Electrification Alliance calls on policymakers to:

  1. Make electrification attractive: provide more visibility to career opportunities in electrification, and to the corresponding educational pathways.
  2. Make it easy: ensure that the necessary skills and qualifications are accessible to prospective students, and electrification workers.
  3. Make it pay: financial support is needed for up- and re-skilling, from both Member States and the Commission
  4. Make it real: education has to better fit the labor market, by dynamically adapting curricula to match innovation, and continuously assess and monitor the available workers and skills.

Thomas Nowak, General Secretary of the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) and co-chair of the Electrification Alliance said: “An electrified, net zero European energy sector is possible – but those heat pumps and solar panels won’t install themselves. Electrification offers huge sustainable jobs potential in planning, design, manufacturing, installation and more. Encouraging more training courses and communicating on the opportunities, are crucial to ensure the sector can deliver.”

Julie Beaufils, General Secretary of the European Association of Electrical Contractors (EuropeOn) said: “The job potential in electrification is tremendous, it is an opportunity and our only chance for a successful green and digital transition, not a threat. All we need is a strong political impetus to promote careers, especially technical careers and therefore technical education.”

Download the report