Problem for energy transition: ‘Shortage of tens of thousands of professionals is imminent’

Ecorys calculated that if the Netherlands wants to achieve the targets of the climate agreement by 2030 (49 percent less CO2 emissions in 2030), some 23,000 extra employees will be needed to do the necessary work. If we cut emissions by 55 percent, that would be 28,000 ourselves.

This concerns, for example, people who can install solar panels, install windmills and connect charging stations, just to name a few.

But the trend is going in the other direction, according to the researchers. They expect that the number of MBO students with a technical education will decrease by 24,000 in the coming years and the number of graduates with a higher vocational education education in technology is also expected to decrease.

Need an active policy

“In order to make the energy transition a success, an active labor market policy is therefore necessary in addition to climate policy. Tens of thousands of professionals are needed. These people must eventually put the energy transition into practice with their knowledge and skills,” the researchers write.

So measures will have to be taken to solve these problems. Ecorys and the NVDE offer a number of suggestions for this. First, there could be some gains in productivity. After all, by working more efficiently you can do more with fewer people.

But that is not expected to be enough. The organizations want the government to ensure that more students enter the right courses and that existing employees are retrained

No tuition fees, bonus for girls

“Measures are needed to show many young people and retraining students how beautiful it is to work in the energy transition and to equip them for it,” said Olof van der Gaag, director of the Dutch Sustainable Energy Association (NVDE).

He advocates abolishing tuition fees for technical MBO courses and giving girls an extra bonus. “We also argue for a retraining fund for people who lose their jobs in the old energy supply or are now unemployed because of Corona, for example,” writes Van der Graag.

An additional advantage of a technical MBO education is that, according to the researchers, you can almost guarantee a job.


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