The automotive sector is a cornerstone of technological and industrial development, impacting job creation and economic growth. To compete on the international stage, the EU’s automotive industry has to be ahead of drivers of change, and has to prepare and upskill the workforce. Carbon-neutral goals call for all types of electromobility to be implemented, and batteries are an essential enabling technology on land, waterways and ships. The Joint Research Centre (JRC) forecasts that there will be 50 to 200 million electric vehicles and that 250 to 1100 GWh of lithium-ion battery cells will be needed.
Regions are major stakeholders in this regard. They often have discretionary powers over policy strategies and funding that affects these industries, as well on vocational education and training (VET) and skills policies.
Two ERASMUS blueprint projects – DRIVES and ALBATTS, which are working towards modernised electromobility – are crucial to guiding skill needs and defining education patterns to help the automotive sector be fully ready. They will explore the measures that their ecosystems are taking to prepare, retrain and upskill the workforce, thereby meeting the challenges posed by the need to innovate, secure global competitiveness and guarantee cooperation and cohesion with a view to achieving a green EU. Indeed, some regions will describe their role in promoting excellence and a skilled workforce in these sectors.
This workshop focuses on the roll-out of DRIVES and ALBATTS and aims to exploit the results of the projects, ensuring that they meet current and future industry demand. It will also stimulate a debate between the project team and regional representatives on future educational needs in the automotive and battery industries, safeguarding the future of local communities that depend on these industrial activities. The session includes a discussion on initiatives currently being conducted by regional stakeholders (the Stuttgart region and the municipality of Skellefteå) to identify trends in innovation aiming to support the introduction of low-carbon economies, the energy transition, intelligent transport systems, and automated and connected vehicles.
In turn, this exchange will help to promote the competitiveness and impact of regional approaches.
Anja SUKNAIC, Project Officer, European Commission – DG GROW, Belgium.
Ida Lindh, Business Strategist, Municipality of Skellefteå, Sweden.
Anders NORBERG, Education Strategist, Municipality of Skellefteå, Sweden.
Anna Spechtenhauser, Deputy Head of Office, Stuttgart Region European Office, Germany.
Jakub Stolfa, Program Manager & Academic Staff Member, VSB – Technical University of Ostrava, Czechia.