Cedefop's skills forecast enables policy-makers, businesses and the training community to pave the way for the green transition and maximise the benefits for Europe's economies, workers and learners, the Agency's Executive Director Jürgen Siebel told a high-level conference in Stockholm.

The conference was organised by the European Union's Swedish Presidency on 23 March, and in line with the European Year on Skills, its main theme was 'Skills for the green transition - for a competitive Europe'.
Mr Siebel noted that Cedefop uses a variety of methods and tools to reflect on the green transition:

- Quantitative approaches

  • Skills forecasts – the long-term perspective
  • VET and skills statistics and indicators
  • Analysis of online job ads – the emerging skills perspective

- Qualitative approaches

  • Generating evidence via expert groups and networks
  • Green transition foresight in sectors

Presenting Cedefop's latest research findings, he pointed out that there are some sectors, such as the primary sector, construction, energy and other utilities, that are forecast to see clear growth, but positive impact is to be expected in some supporting services (e.g. administrative and support, legal, accounting, consulting services and computer programming and information).

Skilling opportunities are identified by the research scenarios that would help people, employers, regional skills ecosystems and society make the necessary transitions, he said adding that it will be crucial to make young people interested in green jobs and to give adults the means to upskill and/or reskill for such jobs.

'The up- and reskilling and transition potential that is visible does not only cover high-skilled jobs. For instance, in waste management almost half of the projected additional employment is for manual and elementary occupations,' Mr Siebel stressed.

Where to invest

Turning to the crucial question as to which skills, occupations and vocational education and training (VET) parts we need to invest in to make green transitions possible, he said Cedefop's uses sectoral skill foresight, whose findings suggest that we need not only frontline green professionals who implement green technology at scale, but also:

  • Experts with green technological expertise (thyroid occupations)
  • Digital professionals
  • Professionals who manage the green transition (management and HR)
  • Professionals who engage citizens to be part of the green transition
  • Trainers

Speaking at the Directors-General for Vocational Education and Training (DGVT) meeting, also in Stockholm on 22 March, Mr Siebel presented the outcomes of recent research projects carried out by Cedefop in the area of sectoral skill foresight, which examined the role of cities and key areas driving the green transition (waste management, agri-food, circular economy), identifying occupations, jobs and skills that drive 'greenovation' and exploring the role VET can play in making positive change.