What are the future competencies of engineers in the green transition? A recent report from the Association of Nordic Engineers ANE titled “Competences for a Sustainable Future” aims to answer this question. The purpose of the report is to describe identifiable changes in the future skill and workforce requirements for engineers in selected climate technology sectors across the Nordics and identify opportunities for Nordic collaboration.
Each country has their own emphasis on green technologies
The report examined the state of seven climate technologies and their skill requirements in each of the five Nordic countries: Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, and Denmark.
The skill requirements vary based on the emphasis on different technologies in each country. Some technologies are quite universal, such as the rise of Power-to-X (PtX) in all countries. Differences are found for example in geothermal energy, which is prominent in Iceland but not vastly explored in other countries. Explore the differences in this table.
How to improve the skills in the Nordics?
The report points out six recommendations to ensure that Nordic engineers have the necessary skills to drive the development of climate technologies and support the sustainable transition across the Nordics:
- Analyse the sector skill demand and align political incentives with the demands of the market
There should be a stronger focus on securing the competences and skills needed for climate technology in the Nordics. There is also a need for large-scale mapping of the skill demands for the green technology sectors.
- Adapt the educational system
Higher Education Institutions should benefit from public financial support to revaluate and adapt the educational programmes to secure the need of specialists matching the skill demands. Furthermore, universities need to co-operate on bridging the educational gaps as well as identifying where the skills are needed and allow for a greater flow of talent between countries.
- Invest in lifelong learning within green technologies
Investing in education to upskill the current engineering pool will help further the transition towards green solutions. Employers should also identify upskilling needs and provide both space and time for competence development.
- Use the green agenda to recruit and retain a diverse pool of young people studying engineering
The green transition provides an opportunity to motivate young people to become engineers. The Higher Education Institutions should adapt their programmes to ensure the retention of students and provision of diverse pool of talent, including, but not limited to, gender.
- Incentivise and increase knowledge sharing and collaboration
For the Nordic region to remain and become increasingly competitive within climate technology, there is a need for more substantial knowledge sharing and collaboration across organisations, sectors, and countries.
- Harmonise climate tech legislation in the Nordics to create a broader market
The Nordic countries are small markets individually, but together they make up a market of almost 30 million people. Harmonising regulation for climate tech in the Nordics would help to scale up businesses in the Nordic market, which would then boost businesses in the global market.
Read more about the report on ANE's website