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On 1 December 2022, Nancy Pallares, Ceemet Vice-President participated in the panel discussion in Brussels, entitled: “Mastering transformation in the automotive industry: future proofing an industrial basis and attractive jobs in Europe” organised by Robert Bosch GmbH. The discussion explored the challenges, but also the opportunities, of the transition to a greener, more digital economy looking in detail at labour and skills.

The panel was moderated by Anja Lange and Nancy was joined by Joost Korte, Director General, DG EMPL, European Commission; Filiz Albrecht, Member of the Board of Management and Labor Director, Robert Bosch GmbH and Michael Vassiliadis, President, IndustriALL Europe.

The panelists shared their views on a socially responsible change in the automotive and supplier industry as they manage the dual transitions to a greener and more digital economy. Speaking at the event Nancy Pallares said “it is vital that all stakeholders work together to identify and invest in the skills needed to support the green and digital transitions, to recognise the value of, and to promote, best-in-class vocational education. The industry and its partners need to help inspire people to obtain the skills needed to go through this transition. Employers stand ready to actively play their part. However, companies, and especially SMEs, need support to react and adapt particularly during the most challenging business environment faced in decades.”

Ceemet constantly remind policy-makers of the need to deliver a fair green transition. It proposes:

  • A mapping of employment impacts at company, regional and national levels to ensure effective skills intelligence and anticipation of change;
  • Policy support and exchanges of best practices;
  • The involvement of social partners, including with negotiated transition plans at company, regional and sectoral levels, and the strengthening of social dialogue;
  • Adequate resources for active labour market policies, including retraining and upskilling, through a dedicated fund for the mobility ecosystem.

This meeting was also an opportunity to focus on the automotive sector. The automotive sector and its whole value chain is the backbone of the European economy. It represents 13 million jobs, 8% of the EU’s GDP and €58.8 billion invested in R&D annually. As all EU associations representing the automotive sector, Ceemet calls for significant political action to avoid new import dependencies and to ensure access to affordable energy.

The automotive industries, as well as the MET industries, need strong and coordinated EU-wide action that supports both the sector and consumers in crises. With the emergence of new innovations such as electric cars, new skills are needed. It is crucial, that all stakeholders in particular education providers, research departments companies and workers, work together to manage the green skills transition.