We believe that the experience of education experts, practitioners and learners on the ground needs to be an integral component of GreenComp. Envisioning the future, we believe that education is a fundamental pillar for the prevention of and adaptation to the consequences of the climate crisis:
- An education that transcends socio-economic, geographic and generational borders.
- An education for all that encompassess all sectors of life, truly transversal, cross-sectoral, equitable and life-long.
- An education that enables citizens of all ages to act on climate change and for sustainable development.
A holistic, sustainable and just transition is only possible if we cooperate across sectors, making lifelong learning for sustainable development a reality for all.
In alignment with the European Green Deal, we believe that education is a central component to achieving the EU’s climate targets, in the ambition to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The European Union launched the Green Deal in X to make Y – to
On an international level, the European Union has targeted delivering the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and combating Climate Change, as well as promoting European education systems that are capable of supporting these aims. We support the implementation of the EU Education Ministers’ Paris Declaration on promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education (2015).
Responsible citizenship and civic education are fundamental aspects to be taken into account in order to build resilient and sustainable societies. In this regard, equality and social inclusion will remain a key enabler for a sustainable future. Therefore, the European Pillar of Social Rights, the European Skills Agenda for Sustainable Competitiveness, Social Fairness and Resilience (July 2020) and the European Pact for Skills (November 2020) need also to inform the concept of green skills and any future decisions taken in this respect.
As reflected by the New Industrial Strategy for Europe, moving towards a low carbon economy will create more than 1 million jobs by 2030, and, what is more, industrial transitions will require reskilling and upskilling more than 120 million Europeans in the next five years.
These changes are already pushing the acquisition of a whole new set of skills, from technical to soft ones, that allow full participation in the economic activity and the labour market but, beyond them, a green culture (way of life) needs to be developed also in the workplace by introducing small but significant changes in the way people interact with each other and with technology. The acquisition of green skills in the workplace will increase resilience and adaptability of workers, managers and stakeholders, while contributing to green growth, planetary health and societal resilience.
Our work builds on the insights gathered during two landmark events held in the context of the Lifelong Learning Week in 2019 and 2020, with the support of the European Parliament, and meetings held with the European institutions.
Milestones refer to past achievements
@ Lifelong Learning Week2019
Hosted by MEP John Howarth, EARLALL and EfVET held a workshop at the European Parliament on 4 December 2019 to discuss the skills needed for a just green transition and the development of a common framework of green competences. The event also counted on the participation of representatives from the European Commission (DG ENVIRONMENT), the European Economic and Social Committee, and the business sector. The event was conceived as a first step towards a long-term vision and a joint work plan for the development of a common framework of green competences.
Launch of the Green Skill Survey2020
On the 16th of September EARLALL, EfVET and EAEA launched the Green Skills Survey to their member organisations. The survey is a first step to map best practises in green skill provision across Europe and to uncover the specific challenges, opportunities and needs that the education sector has in regard to green skills. The preliminary results from over 40 organisations reveal that there is a definitive demand for green skills but little execution in practise.
Meeting with Commissioner Schmitt’s cabinet2020
On 17 June 2020, EARLALL Director, Noelia Cantero, jointly with EfVET Project & Office Manager, Valentina Chanina, held an online meeting with the Cabinet of Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit. In particular, the responsible experts for Skills, apprenticeships and VET (Mr Nerlich and Ms Faber) together with Anna Barbieri from DG EMPL (Unit for VET, apprenticeships and adult learning) were present in the discussions. The main aim of the meeting was to discuss our common position on Skills for the Green Transition (Green Skills), which had already raised interest among EU institutions and other stakeholders.
Meeting with JRC and DG-EAC2020
On 29 October 2020, EARLALL , EfVET and EAEA team had a virtual meeting with Arianna Sala, Yves Punie, Chiara Scalabrino and Marcellino Cabrera. The main aim of the meeting was to discuss our common position on Skills for the Green Transition (Green Skills), Horizon 2020 and Good practices.
We believe in the importance of developing active and effective policies and practices to provide workers and citizens with the green skills that are needed to help deliver the European Green Deal. Indeed, lifelong learning, Adult Learning and Education and Vocational Education and Training (VET) can make a vital contribution to it: by helping define and implementing the so-called green skills with a bottom-up approach. The concept of green skills was defined by EARLALL, EfVET, EAEA, and their members play an important role in equipping citizens with the requisite skills for their personal and professional development. In the quest for sustainable solutions, it is important to recognize two complementary areas where the provision of new skills is needed:
Skills for the green economy (occupation-specific skills)
General green skills for all citizens (transversal skills)
Through a lifelong learning perspective, green skills need to be mainstreamed and incorporated into education policies and practices through a common GreenComp framework, including adult education and VET, as one of the measures to provide a skilled labour force that is also an agent of sustainable development and growth.
Our goal is to make this happen by taking into account the experience on the ground of formal, non-formal and informal education and training professionals, with a citizen-centred perspective.
Furthermore, the recovery paths drawn up to address the COVID-19 crisis, with millions of jobs at stake, have brought about a change of paradigm, placing sustainability at the heart of the recovery. This must be acknowledged and embraced by all citizens. The shared ambition of all European institutions to make the European Green Deal the basis for growth and job creation leads us to strongly reiterate that support to the development of the aforementioned skills must be a fundamental pillar in this process, guaranteeing also the wellbeing of all citizens.