This opinion is being prepared at a time where the shift to a low-carbon economy is more urgent than ever and where new "green" occupations emerge and existing jobs need to be "greened". This implies needs for new skill sets, which necessitate updated curricula or even new qualifications across education and training levels. These new "green skills" can range from very technical and job-specific skills to "softer" skills such as responsible use of resources, which can be relevant across occupations, levels of hierarchy and sectors. While the "greening" of the economy creates skill needs, particularly in specific sectors such as energy and resource efficiency, construction and manufacturing, moving towards a circular economy creates "green" skill needs across the board.
In parallel, climate policies should include and support the most vulnerable regions, sectors and workers. These policies naturally impact the provision of skills in the formal, informal and non-formal learning of learners of all ages, within schools and apprenticeships as well as in employee training both within and beyond the green sectors.
All occupations will need greening, ranging from those new jobs focused solely on delivering green goods or services to those that will require more limited changes to improve energy efficiency and reduce the use of resources. Workers from all walks of life need to expand their skill sets so they can help safeguard the environment. Workers therefore need to be trained with the right set of sector-specific and generic skills and methods that can support a green economy and help us apply existing and new skills in a more sustainable way.
The aim of this opinion is to look into green skills and consider the creation of an EU Competence Framework for Green Skills.