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Public-private partnership to plug Europe’s 800,000 person battery skills gap

Mon, 07/19/2021 - 14:40 -- Paul Crompton
workers at a battery factory

A public-private partnership aims to fill the European battery industry skills gap by training 150,000 workers to aid the transition to electric vehicles.

A memorandum of understanding between EIT InnoEnergy and France has paved the way to launching the EBA250 Academy, which aims to reskill and upskill specialised engineers, technicians and researchers.

EIT InnoEnergy, coordinating the industrial work under the European Battery Alliance (EBA), will spearhead an education-sharing platform.

EIT InnoEnergy plans to rollout its training programme in France and throughout Europe.

The industry-expert designed courses will cover a range of topics from electromobility, residential storage and grid storage, to recycling and data science.

The modules will be delivered by local training organisations online, although some may require physical attendance at local training facilities.

Any engineer or executive working in energy can apply.

The public-private partnership will address the emerging skills gap that requires around 800,000 qualified workers to enter the European battery industry by 2025. 

This includes the lack of transferrable digital skills needed to support the digitalisation of the entire value chain, from factory automation with industry 4.0 to AI use. 

Reskilling the workforce is essential in ensuring Europe meets its Green Deal targets by safeguarding sufficient battery manufacturing capacity to support the electrification of transport and decarbonisation of energy.

In 2017, the European Commission launched the European Battery Alliance.

Commission vice-president Maroš Šefčovič, in charge of the European Battery Allianc, said: “The new battery industry requires a new set of skills. Reskilling and upskilling programmes, such as the EBA250 Academy, will therefore help match skills with labour market needs as well as reinforce the social dimension of Europe’s recovery.”

Along with France, EIT InnoEnergy is already implementing the EBA250 Academy in Spain and plans to roll out the programme across Europe during 2021. 

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