On 13 October 2021, EARLALL co-organised a workshop on regions providing skills and jobs for a green society at the European Week of Regions and Cities 2021. The session gathered experts from the European Commission (DG Employment), the European Forum of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (EfVET) and Thomas More Kempen – knowledge centre energy (KCE).
The pandemic changed Europe’s social and economic fabric and impacted the ways of working, learning and training. The European Commission also put forward new ambitious climate and energy objectives with the European Green Deal. The goal of this session was to see what those challenges mean for citizens, companies, local authorities, and regions and the kind of skills needed to benefit from the green recovery.
The workshop, moderated by Iñigo Araiztegui, Director of Internationalisation at TKNINA, Basque Country, started with a presentation from Anita Halasz, Economic Analyst at the European Commission, DG EMPL. She presented the Effective Active Support to Employment (EASE) recommendation, adopted by the European Commission in April 2021. The EASE recommendation provides guidance to Member States on active labour market policies and on how they can use EU funds to support the EASE principles.
After the policy insights a concrete example of the Platform of Vocational Excellence Water, was presented by Pieter Hoekstra, Program manager at CIV Water. PoVE water is a joint initiative of VET schools and Water industry professionals in Europe. The goal of this initiative is to train VET students to become more flexible, digitally skilled and sustainability-oriented water sector professionals. He was followed by Paul De Schepper, Lector at KCE – Thomas More Kempen who presented the EEMS4SME project, conducting an open training and innovative digital platform all over Europe for qualified energy managers. The last example showcased was the one from Marisol Martinez Garcia, Director of IES Luces, Principality of Asturias. She presented the school project in the field of circular economy, which aims at developing new skills for teachers and students and encourage creativity and entrepreneurship. IES Luces, being an agricultural vocational training center, develops the cultivation of the spirulina alga (Arthrospira platensis) in photo-bioreactors built for this purpose at the Center and using the slurry from the dairy cattle as a culture medium.
The examples were followed by a round table discussion, focusing on how regions and local stakeholders can contribute to the objectives of the Green Deal by providing the skills and employment needed in the renewable energy sector. The session was wrapped-up and closed by Arja Flinkman, Vice-president of EfVET.