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New taxonomy of skills for the green transition

The European Commission has published a taxonomy (classification system) of skills for the green transition in European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations (ESCO). It includes
381 skills, 185 knowledge concepts and 5 transversal skills considered most relevant for a greener labour market. Examples of ‘green skills’ include how to conduct energy audits, measure the sustainability of tourism activities, as well as training staff on recycling programmes.

date:  25/03/2022

Examples of ‘green knowledge’ concepts include emission standards and ecological principles. ‘Green transversal skills’ include, for instance, the evaluation of the environmental impact of personal behaviour and the adoption of ways to boost biodiversity and animal welfare.

The taxonomy contributes to a common understanding of which skills are needed for a successful and fair green transition in the labour market. ESCO provides information on which skills and knowledge concepts are essential or optional for specific occupations. In this way, it helps identify green elements that should be part of vocational education and training (VET) programmes preparing for these occupations.

For example, ESCO demonstrates how conducting energy audits is a ‘green skill’ that is essential for occupations such as those of energy analysts and energy assessors, while it is optional for some other occupations, such as those of marine engineering drafters or vessel engine assemblers. Therefore, the taxonomy of skills for the green transition is an important point of reference when it comes to making VET fit for a greener future.

All the skills and knowledge concepts are freely available in different formats and in 27 languages. More information about this work can be found on the ESCO website.

A report listing all the green concepts can be downloaded here.