Ecorys’ research on supporting workers in regions transitioning away from carbon-intensive energy

| Social Policy, Regions and Cities, Economic Growth

Ecorys has been supporting the European Commission (DG ENER) in providing practical advice and guidance to help support workers who are losing their jobs as a result of the move away from reliance on carbon-intensive energy production such as coal mining. 

This type of labour market transition is a complex process, involving the transformation of communities that have for many decades relied on one main employer. Coherence across a range of policy areas is therefore vital, as is the involvement of relevant stakeholders, including the individuals affected. This will enable all possible options for alternative employment to be explored. It is also important to anticipate and plan as far as possible, and to tailor interventions to the circumstances and needs of individuals. 

Within the context of Ecorys’ joint management of the Secretariat of the Platform for Coal regions in Transition, along with partners Climate Strategies, ICLEI Europe and the Wuppertal Institute, the consortium has produced a series of toolkits, aimed at giving practical guidance on key issues in transition regions. The toolkit on Sustainable Employment and Welfare Support is based on four key pillars: 

• assessing and developing the skills of workers; 
• ensuring that all relevant actors cooperate in formulating a development and support plan for the region; 
• supporting each individual worker through a variety of means, such as skills reviews, career guidance and assessment of training opportunities; and 
• ways to promote the economic diversification of the region. 

The toolkit contains advice, links to relevant publications and additional guidance, and gives examples of good practice from around the EU. A webinar was hosted by DG ENER on 18 June to present the toolkit.