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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
Press release8 June 2021Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Commissioners Schmit and Breton hosted Pact for Skills roundtable with energy-intensive industry stakeholders

This is part of a series of sectoral roundtables to encourage stakeholder involvement under the Pact for Skills. The objective of the pact is to mobilise all relevant actors – industrial, social, regional and education partners – to assist people in developing the right skill-set for a sustainable, social and resilient recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Partnerships established under the pact will benefit from support services such as platforms for networking, expertise, guidance and resources.

The energy-intensive ecosystem is essential for European industry. It shares the ambition of the Paris Agreement and acknowledges the extent of the transformation challenge as well as the opportunities it brings. As set out in the European Green Deal, clean energy is crucial to meeting the EU's goal of climate neutrality by 2050 and essential for this ecosystem. Technology developments, investments and a re-thinking of the business model will be needed to achieve the green and digital transitions. The transition to a climate-neutral economy will shape new types of jobs that do not yet exist, and transform many others starting today, both of which will require skills that workers do not yet have. Hence reskilling and upskilling will be of key importance in this transition.

In the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan, building among others on the targets set in the European Skills Agenda, the Commission put forward the headline target that by 2030, at least 60% of all adults in the EU should participate in training every year. Participants at the roundtable agreed on the need to re- and upskill the workforce of this ecosystem and to attract new talent, especially women. Skills in the area of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) as well as problem-solving skills were mentioned to be critical. Participants also viewed vocational education and training as a very attractive pathway to acquiring these skills. Stakeholders also underlined the challenge to attract young talents. The discussions shed light on several initiatives facilitating a just transition for workers in affected regions. Announced under the European Skills Agenda in July, the Pact for Skills was launched on 10 November.