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EARLALL & EfVET met with Commissioner Schmit’s Cabinet to discuss green skills for a green future


On 17 June, EARLALL Director, Noelia Cantero, jointly with EfVET Office Manager, Valentina Chanina, held an online meeting with the Cabinet of Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit. In particular, the responsible experts for Skills, apprenticeships and VET (Mr Nerlich and Ms Faber) together with Anna Barbieri from DG EMPL (Unit for VET, apprenticeships and adult learning) were present in the discussions. The main aim of the meeting was to discuss the joint position paper by EARLALL and EfVET on Skills for the Green Transition (Green Skills) that has raised a lot of interest among EU institutions and other stakeholders.

Following a short presentation on the two networks’ structures and activities, and a brief background introduction to the paper, Noelia Cantero drew the attention of the Commissioner’s Cabinet to the following specific issues where support from the EC could be reinforced in order to promote skills for the green transition:

  1. Mainstreaming green skills as a core element of all relevant EU policies, instead of concentrating them exclusively in the education and training sectors. The upcoming Pact for Skills would be a good opportunity to highlight the importance of these skills. A good example is already provided by Directorate General in charge of Maritime affairs that includes a webpage on ‘Skills and career development in the blue economy’.
  2. Including references regarding performance in providing skills for the green transition in the European Semester Strategy. EU Member States are already requested to provide information about their progress on skills and environmental issues. It would be important to be specific and add references to green skills.
  3. Skills for the green transition should be a key element when building the European Education Area and when revising later this year the successor instrument to the Education and Training 2020. Clear benchmarks and measures could be set so that organisations and public authorities have specific achievement indicators to work towards.
  4. The EC could also promote the drafting of a European Competence Framework for skills for the green transition. This framework could be built around the experiences gained through the deliveries of the DigiComp, EntreComp and recently LifeComp frameworks.
  5. There are many initiatives and projects taking place at local and regional level that could be leveraged and promoted across Europe if sufficient funding through programmes such as Horizon Europe, Erasmus+, ESF+, etc. is specifically available to support the acquisition of green skills.

Finally, EARLALL and EfVET express their willingness to count on the EC in supporting their ambition to continue gathering interest and experiences from different economic sectors and stakeholders and in setting up an informal Green Skills Platform that promotes an ongoing dialogue. EARLALL and EfVET reminded the participants that the organisations and their members are available to provide the EC with examples of best practices and to support the institution in the design and development of upcoming initiatives.

The EC welcomes the paper and the initiative led by both organisations. All items raised are on the EC agenda and have been promoted by  von der Leyen’s Commission that believes in a Digital and Green new Europe. The dialogue will continue via DG EMPL that encourages EARLALL and EfVET to take up an active role in facilitating cooperation among stakeholders to face green skills challenges and to leave no one behind.

Regions, together with VET providers, are for the EC vital partners to engage with and involve in the discussions on skills initiatives to support Covid-19 recovery and the digital and ecological transitions. The upcoming months will be key for our organisations as many initiatives, including the future EU programmes 2021-27, will be launched and they will set the pace for a greener Europe with greener-conscience citizens. EARLALL is proud to be playing a leading role in this process.