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European Year of Skills

A Guide for Thriving in a Greener Flanders: The Green Skills Roadmap

On 6 October, the government of Flanders published the ‘Green Skills roadmap for Flanders’. This roadmap is the result of a TSI project with the Department of Work and Social Economy of the government of Flanders, made possible and funded by DG REFORM in the European Commission, and carried out by two consulting firms. 

Lightpulp on the ground.

The Green Skills Roadmap for Flanders is the first Technical Support Instrument (TSI) project regarding green skills. The Department of Work and Social Economy of the government of Flanders coordinated the project, consisting of various studies that culminate in a green skills roadmap. This includes a conceptualisation of green skills, research into international best practises, stakeholder consultations to identify barriers and achievable actions, a high-level strategy, a governance framework, and, finally, a green skills roadmap.   

The research covers various concepts and definitions of green skills and jobs. There are three types of skills identified: 

  • Technical skills (occupation-specific, e.g., heat pump installing) 
  • Professional skills (adapted to different professions, e.g., sustainable finance) 
  • Transversal skills (broad, applicable to society, e.g., understanding of sustainability in lifelong learning) 

According to the study, the green transition is expected to have a significant impact on 26% of all jobs in Flanders. However, there is a distinction between the types of skills needs: 

  • Need for enhanced skills (16%): existing jobs requiring significant changes in tasks, skills, and knowledge because of greening (for example, electric vehicle electricians, construction workers, architects, urban planners, teachers, human resource professionals); 
  • New and emerging skills (4%): jobs created specifically to meet the needs of the green economy (for example, hydrogen engineers, sustainability auditors, and sustainable finance experts); 
  • The green transition leads to more demand for specific jobs (6%): Existing jobs that are expected to be in high demand because of greening but do not require significant changes in tasks, skills, or knowledge (for example, bus drivers, renewable energy engineers, sales and marketing professionals, organic agriculture farmers). 

Green jobs are concentrated in four sectors in Flanders: construction, utilities (energy), manufacturing (to a lesser extent), and the circular economy (cross-sectoral).  

Online peer reviews, as well as visits to Paris and Gothenburg, were organised to gain a better understanding of international best practises in green skills. Following stakeholder consultations, barriers and enabling conditions were identified to feed into the high-level strategy. 

Following research on various governance structures, the proposal for a green skills roadmap came together. There are five action groups from which policymakers can draw inspiration: 

  • setting up a governance structure 
    • formulate a common understanding and definition of green skills 
  • co-funding for specific activities 
    • design a set of co-funding mechanisms to facilitate the development of green skills 
  • accelerating the integration of green skills in Flemish VET 
    • Develop an online self-assessment tool for companies to assess current and future green skills 
  • promotion & awareness raising 
    • launch a broad awareness raising campaign on green skills 
  • knowledge sharing & peer learning 
    • set up an online central information hub 

Read the full report here: Green Skills Roadmap Flanders. Final Report on Green Skills Need in Flanders |