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EU sets up skills partnership for energy-intensive industries

On Wednesday (10 May) a large-scale skills partnership for energy-intensive industries (EIIs) was formed, with support from the European Commission, industry stakeholders, research organisations, social partners and educational and training organisations.

The partnership aims to identify skill needs and develop appropriate curricula and training programmes to ensure that the EII workforce has the right skills for energy-intensive industries to “remain leaders” in the green and digital transition, the European Commission said.

The partnership will also promote the recruitment and upskilling of workers. EIIs currently make up more than 20 per cent of European manufacturing and employ over seven million people in Europe.

“Energy-intensive industries are essential to the EU’s green and digital transition. They provide steel for wind turbines, aluminium for electric cars and chemicals for semiconductors. Ensuring energy-intensive industries’ competitiveness and twin transition requires a highly qualified and specialised workforce,” said Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market. “This new large-scale skills partnership is the latest example of the successful collaboration in each industrial ecosystem between relevant partners to build the required training and skills programmes.”

This launch marks the 18th partnership part of the EU’s flagship Pact for Skills initiative under the European Skills Agenda, a five-year plan to assist individuals and businesses in developing new or strengthening existing skills. As a result, at least one large-scale skills partnership for each industrial ecosystem of the EU Industrial Strategy has been established.

In March, the Commission helped to launch a large-scale skills partnership for the renewable energy industry.

“The green and digital transitions are creating huge changes in Europe’s industries, including the energy-intensive sectors. We need people’s skills to keep pace with these changes so that they can navigate the changing labour market and companies can find workers with the requisite skills to grow. Today’s partnership is an excellent step in the right direction and helps us reach our EU 2030 training goals,” said Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights.

The Pact for Skills initiative contributes to the EU headline target that by 2030, at least 60 per cent of all adults should participate in training every year, the Commission said.

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