Labour and skills shortages in transport, energy, infrastructure and the digital sector

Practical information

  • Composition of the study group
  • Administrator: Francesco NAPOLITANO, Assistant: Dániel MAKAY
  • Foreseen for the TEN section meeting: 26 September 2024
  • Foreseen for the EESC plenary session:  23-24 October 2024

Background: 

The energy transition, central to Europe's commitment to a sustainable future, demands not just technological advancements but also a skilled and adaptive workforce. As the continent pivots towards greener energy solutions, there is an urgent need to equip its citizens with the requisite skills. These skills, ranging from renewable energy management to sustainable infrastructure development, are pivotal in ensuring that the transition is smooth, efficient, and inclusive.

Besides looking at green skills, in the medium term, the growing use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will lead to profound changes in our society, including in the field of work.

Digital services and AI will improve healthcare, increase productivity and help mitigate climate change, but only if we ensure that AI develops in a human-centric, transparent and responsible way based on EU values.

Moreover, for years there has been a significant shortage of staff in the transport sector (in its various modes). The lack of human resources restricts the growth potential of transport as well as of the EU economy as a whole.

The journey to acquiring these skills presents a set of challenges. Traditional educational curricula might not yet be aligned with the rapidly evolving demands of the green energy and transport sectors as well as the demands for enhanced digital competences. There is a risk of creating a skills gap, where specific demographic groups, especially those already vulnerable, might be left behind.

This own-initiative opinion therefore aims to shed light on the relationship between work and the ongoing green and digital transformations.