THE IMPACT OF VET ON THE GREEN TRANSITION AND SMART CITIES
CEDEFOP is helping the European Commission, EU Member States and the social partners to develop the right European VET policies and has created a recent policy brief in relation to the smart and green city (SGC). According to the policy brief "VET for smart cities and the green transition" published by CEDEFOP on August 16, 2022, the European Green Deal (EGD), which aims to give a response to the problems related to climate change and environmental degradation, could be positively affected by vocational education and training (VET) practices.
A smart city is considered to be so when it has the relevant technologies to transmit information in an autonomous and efficient way. The information is collected through different technologies, sensors or networks and once analysed, it is used in an efficient way to contribute to the improvement of the urban environment. These activities are often related to transport, water waste or air quality, among others.
According to CEDEFOP’s policy brief, both green and digital transitions together could give an impulse to the performance of the green deal and achieve its main goals and priorities.
This city model encourages green practices that help to reduce the carbon footprint, such as urban agriculture, forestry, and green infrastructures. In addition, smart cities are based on taking actions that help the environment, such as: encouraging investment in green transport options, increasing renewable energy production, making buildings more energy efficient and prioritising sustainable waste management.
In order to follow these steps and achieve an EU green deal ensuring no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050 and economic growth decoupled from resource use, municipal authorities must actively participate, through policies, in the introduction of this new model and its practices. Moreover, it will be essential to introduce VET activities so that their citizens have the relevant training and skills and can be part of this new society and contribute with it to their new jobs.
Therefore, VET should explore areas of competences such as transversal skills, disruptive technologies, smart city projects domains and smart cities challenges. Through the learning of these competences, the individuals will develop and train on skills, such as creative thinking, learning by experience or analytical skills.
With the SKILLS4CITIES project we aim to develop and test learning and validation tools for the training of experts, personnel and managers of smart cities for their newly emerging roles. The project supports the development of competence maps, referent competence frameworks, recognition and validation of new curricula and training materials. As a result, the initiative promotes new career routes for the workers, managers, and specialists in smart cities who are now entering the workforce.