The first challenge we will be looking at is a crucial one for cities, their job market and the associated skills. Fuelled by structural transitions (digital and ecological), carbonised economic sectors and related jobs are set to decrease while new jobs are progressively appearing in cities. This requires new and more versatile skills, therefore increasing the risk of a mismatch between existing skills and demanded ones. Cities have developed predictive and preventive policies to foresee these major job market changes and adapt their education and training offer and support to local businesses. From September 2021 on, a pool of experts led by Eddy Adams will explore and collect knowledge about UIA projects testing solutions that could reduce the impact of job losses and industry phase-out on workers and communities (transport, energy, construction industry) by:
Supporting emerging green sectors: while key sectors such as urban mobility are evolving, requiring new skills (such as data analysis), new sectors are developing (urban agriculture, circular economy). These changes challenge the city capacity to support economic operators to test and develop new business models.
Forecasting new skills: structural changes in the job market will mostly affect under-skilled and the already vulnerable workforce, pushing cities to anticipate such changes and to adapt their training strategies to these consequences. Such transitions, mainly due to digital and ecological ones, will create new jobs while others will disappear. Forecasting these changes is key for cities to develop relevant partnerships with local stakeholders (academic and economic actors) and implement local trainings adapted for all.
Skilling and reskilling: changes in the job market might also affect not only the type of skills demanded but also their versatility. This major change stresses the need of cities to support the right conditions to develop life-long training to adapt local skills to the challenges of a climate neutral economy.