The Council approved conclusions on skills and competences for the green transition. They come against the backdrop of European Council conclusions of 9 February 2023 where EU heads of state and government called for bolder, more ambitious actions to further develop the skills that are required for the green and digital transitions through education, training, upskilling and reskilling.
Labour shortages in sectors considered key for the green transition doubled between 2015 and 2021 (as set out in the Commission's communication on a green deal industrial plan for the net-zero age). At the same time, green transition technical skills are in growing demand.
In the conclusions, the Council invites member states – among other things – to engage education and training providers, research organisations, employers, social partners and other relevant stakeholders in jointly identifying reskilling and upskilling needs for the green transition including public-private cooperation.
Ministers of Education discussed the issue of teacher shortages and in particular the added value for enhanced European cooperation and EU-level actions to attract, upskill and retain teachers and trainers.
Member states across the EU are grappling with teacher shortages which represent a serious risk to the quality and equity of education. These shortages are among other things due to the ageing of the teacher workforce – almost 40% of the teaching workforce is above 50 years – and perceptions about the profession’s low attractiveness.
Many delegations highlighted that – in view of the pertinence of the issue for all member states – the debate was very timely. Qualified and well-trained teachers are at the heart of a well-functioning education system and are key to achieve the European Education Area (EEA). The Council will revert to the subject at its meeting in May in the context of its planned conclusions on the EEA.
The Council will come back to this topic in its May meeting, in the framework of the planned Conclusions on the European Education Area.