Skills and competences are critical drivers of economic growth, social cohesion, and innovation. They play a key role in ensuring that individuals are equipped to meet the demands of the modern labour market and navigate the challenges of the 21st century. To highlight their importance, the European Union (EU) has named 2023 as the “European Year of Skills”. This initiative, which is kicked off by the EU Year of Skills Festival on the 9th of May, highlights the need to review and develop skills in order to approach future work with the essential tools.
Sustainability is a pressing global issue, and engineers play a crucial role in addressing sustainability challenges through their technical expertise and innovative solutions. As highlighted in ANE’s report Towards a Circular Economy, Skills and Competences for STEM Professionals, the transition to a circular economy and more sustainable future will require new cross-disciplinary skills within engineering and the STEM sector. Therefore, we hope that during the European Year of Skills, governments and industry will take time to assess the current skillsets, identify the gaps, and channel investments accordingly. It is vital to involve universities in this process so that our higher education institutions can equip future engineers with the knowledge and skills needed for tomorrow.
STEM professionals are a key stakeholder group in CE because of their central role in design and technology development. Skills and competences need to be developed across the STEM disciplines to leverage the full potential of circular economy in the Nordic societies and beyond.ANE Report, Towards a Circular Economy
Currently, a gap exists between the demand and skills supply which must be addressed through careful consideration and collaboration. ANE recommends cross-disciplinary and multi-stakeholders’ cooperation to consider the importance of STEM skills for strengthening the EU industrial base for clean technologies. For years, Nordic businesses, unions, universities, and governments have predicted a critical shortage of STEM professionals for the green and digital transition. However, there is still no clarity about the exact skills and competences needed from future engineers and STEM professionals.
The EU Year of Skills provides us with an opportunity to weigh up the skills demand, address the skills shortages and invest in the right skills. It will be a loss of face to miss this opportunity.
Engineers will play an essential role in the Nordic countries’ sustainable transition. (…) skilled engineers are and continue to be indispensable for reaching Nordic net-zero emission targets. The outlook for the future, with expected shortages of both engineers and tech skills, induces an urgent call for actionANE Report, Competences for a Sustainable Future
The European Year of Skills Festival will take place on 9 May 2023 at 14.00 CEST to mark the official start of the European Year of Skills. More information about the Festival and registration for participation can be found on the event site.