Addressing the potential labour market impacts of the climate neutral transition is central to the European Green Deal. UIA cities are testing solutions to mitigate the impact of job losses and to support industry adaptation and the growth of new climate neutral industry sectors. The question of skills sits at the heart of their sustainable urban development strategies: what future skills will be required and how we can equip our citizens with them - both now and in the future?
No industry sector will remain unaffected by the transition to the Next Economy. Effectively forecasting the jobs and skills implications of this is the crucial first step in being prepared, shining a light on occupations that will disappear as well as the new ones that will emerge. Several UIA cities have conducted pioneering work in this respect such as Eindhoven and Rotterdam in The Netherlands and a smaller Spanish city Cuenca, in the niche area of urban forestry. Aveiro in Portugal has also been a pioneer around the growing importance of digital skills. There are also some UIA examples around new sector support, with smaller cities like Viladecans (Spain) around housing and energy, Lappeenrantra (Finland) concerning the circular economy and the Swedish city of Växjö, which is pioneering a new approach to procurement, to stimulate new green business responses to city challenges.
Just transitions will require workers with new skills as well as the refresh of existing ones as well as paying special attention to the low skilled and those working in carbon reliant sectors. A number of UIA projects develop pertinent approaches to the questions of skilling such as the ones implemented in Pozzuoli and Fuenlabrada, really grappling with the twin challenges of reducing carbon whilst reskilling the most disadvantaged citizens. Cluj-Napoca also provides a related example in a project with a dual focus on the culture and creative industry sectors and reskilling Roma citizens. Additionally, it will be important to understand who is working alongside city authorities to make this happen. The financial options being utilised at city level will also be an important aspect of this research.