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European Year of Skills
News article8 December 2023Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion

The Road to Climate Neutrality in Europe’s Chemical Industry Requires a Skilled Workforce

In a significant step towards sustainable industrial practices, EU social partners IndustriAll Europe and the European Chemical Employers Group released in July 2023 the report "On the Road to Climate Neutrality 2050 – the Role of Social Partners in the Decarbonisation of the Chemical, Pharmaceutical, Rubber and Plastics Industries", summarising the results of a two-year EU co-financed project. 

On the road to climate neutrality report picture

The report concludes that as industries move towards climate neutrality, they will need a workforce equipped with the latest knowledge and skills in green chemistry, sustainable manufacturing processes, and advanced technologies. 

However, the fierce competition for talents, combined with the sometimes-negative public image of the industry, poses a significant challenge. To overcome it, the industry must intensify its efforts in internal and external personnel marketing, expand apprenticeship programs, and invest in education and training programs for the existing workforce. The European Year of Skills can serve as a catalyst to foster collaboration between industries, educational institutions, and governments. 

A Toolbox for Effective Social Dialogue 

By fostering collaboration at all levels, from company and sector-specific agreements to national policies and transnational initiatives, social partners play a pivotal role in managing the balanced adoption of new technologies and the evolving skills needs of the workforce. 

The project culminated in the development of a set of tools, included in the final project report, to guide the sector's social partners in their work on decarbonisation. It includes: 

  • Storytelling guidelines: to craft compelling narratives to enhance the sector's image and attract talents. 
  • Checklist for developing and implementing emission reduction strategies company level. 
  • Possible roles and tasks for environmental coordinators at company level

The report provides a framework for fostering a skilled workforce that can drive the transition towards climate neutrality. In this respect, the report is in line with the objectives of the EYS. It is a call to action for governments, industries, and educational institutions to collaborate, invest in skill development, and create a greener, safer, and more prosperous future for Europe. 

Green skills are important - Get involved in the European Year of Skills! 

Please visit our website and find more information on skills for the green transition and funding opportunities. You can also check the map of events on our website to find skills-related activities near you and be a part of the European Year of Skills!