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EU launches large-scale renewable energy skills partnership

Renewable energy trade associations and representatives of installers of clean technologies, with the support of the European Commission, have set up a large-scale skills partnership for the renewable energy industrial ecosystem, the EU’s executive body announced on Tuesday (21 March).

The partnership is aimed at reskilling and upskilling workers in manufacturing and management of renewable energy technologies, the Commission said. This is expected to be achieved by enabling quality job creation and career paths in Europe, proposing policy recommendations to advance skills development, involving relevant national authorities, education institutions, especially vocational education and training institutions, training platforms and attracting more women to clean energy-related jobs.

Overall, around 1.3 million people were employed in the EU renewable energy sector in 2020, which is set to increase following the accelerated deployment of clean energy solutions.

“Reskilling and upskilling workers across all industrial ecosystems is essential for our twin transition objectives. The renewable energy skills partnerships will contribute to the Net Zero Industry Act objectives, creating growth and jobs while reducing dependencies,” said Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market.

Accounting for all renewable energy sectors, achieving our REPowerEU targets will require the creation of over 3.5 million jobs by 2030, the Commission said. For instance, the skills needed for the biomethane and heat pumps sectors are estimated at more than one million workers by 2030, according to industry. In the photovoltaic solar energy sector, the industry estimates amount to one million workers by 2030, with up to 66,000 jobs needed in manufacturing alone.

“This large-scale partnership under the Pact for Skills will help the massive deployment of renewables that we need for the clean energy transition. It will also help us achieve the 2030 REPowerEU targets for renewable energy, which require the creation of millions of jobs across all renewables sectors,” said Kadri Simson, EU Commissioner for Energy.

The latest skills partnership is part of the EU’s flagship Pact for Skills initiative under the European Skills Agenda. According to the European Commission, the partnership will underpin the objectives set out in the recently presented EU Net-Zero Industry Act, following the Green Deal Industrial Plan, the REPowerEU plan and the European Year of Skills. It will also contribute to the EU headline target of at least 60 per cent of all adults participating in training every year by 2030. Since the launch of the Pact, more than 1,000 organisations have pledged to reskill over six million people in Europe.

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