Positive feedback at the final EQF Elec project workshop

EuropeOn has been a strong advocate for more attention and investment in the skills dimension of the energy transition. Indeed, electrical contractors are first in line when implementing the decarbonisation policies adopted by the EU, bridging the gap between the legislation and the consumers. However, electrical contracting companies are faced with a systemic issue constraining their ability to bring our climate ambitions to the next level: a shortage of skilled workers. It can be extremely challenging for a company in the electricity sector to hire a qualified worker, impeding it to take on more orders. On top of this, the sector observes a surge of new players with very limited skillsets who encourage clients to carry out highly specialised installations, often resulting in faulty and unsafe installations.

While there are many reasons for such issues, calling for a consistent stream of solutions, EuropeOn and partnering organisations have benefitted from EU funding through the Erasmus+ programme to devise a European Qualifications Framework pertaining to electrical skills, with our 4 partners: Centre de Compétences (Luxembourg, project leader), Installatörsföretagen (Sweden), Volta (Belgium) and ISSO (Netherlands). All members of the consortium are either EuropeOn members or close partners.

This voluntary European qualification framework for electricians will allow for better comparability of skills and contribute to vertical and horizontal mobility of workers across Europe. It will also make education in the electricity sector more comparable across Europe and more in tune with labour market needs. In practice, our qualifications framework would make it easier for an employer in one country to assess the qualifications of a professional trained abroad.

The project started in 2022 and is due to close in September 2024. EuropeOn thus held its final workshop on the EQF Elec project this June with an audience made up of representatives of national electrical contractors’ associations as well as other stakeholders from the energy and/or buildings sector. A representative of CEDEFOP, the EU agency for vocation education and training, also took part in the event.

Our final workshop was the occasion to present the main outcomes of the project: the actual qualification framework (with detail on the areas of expertise and job profiles covered), and the BuildUp Skills advisor app, which will integrate these outcomes.

Workshop participants also replied to our interactive poll to gauge the level of awareness of skills related initiatives at the EU level. Participants seemed somewhat familiar with EU initiative such as TRAIN4SUSTAIN or BuildUp, although the latter was clearly the more popular of the two.

Finally, participants were polled about the BuildUp Skills advisor app. All respondents agreed that this app promotes comparability of workers’ skills. Further, they were also all positive about the further possibilities offered by such an app.

National stakeholder workshops also took place in Belgium, Luxembourg and Sweden, with similarly encouraging feedback. One more workshop is yet to take place in the Netherlands before the project officially concludes.