The purpose of this study was to develop a much-needed understanding of the extent to which the partner countries of the European Training Foundation address sustainability issues as part of their sustainability sector strategies and policies, and to which extent these are translated into specific education and training offers. Specific objectives were to: (i) review extensively the relevance and contents of green transition strategies and policies in 17 Partner Countries; (ii) evaluate the level of implementation of key sectors’ sustainability policies in the partner countries focusing on achievements, challenges and opportunities for impact from the analytical perspective of skill needs; (iii) provide recommendations for further advancing the ETF methodology and approach to review, measure and consult on the PC’s systematic progress towards achieving the green transition from the perspective of education and training needs; and (iv) design engaging knowledge products summarizing the study findings that can be disseminated these through different media channels.
The methodology built on and improved that of a pilot project that mapped sustainability policies and initiatives by ETF in 2021. PPMI applied the following methods when mapping the situation in the remainder of the partner countries: literature review based on English sources by the PPMI team, national policy mapping based on desk research in national languages and 8-15 interviews with national level stakeholders conducted by national experts (for the preparation of country reports). The study team thereby conducted comparative analysis of the country reports and all available international data to prepared thematic reports on how the region is fearing on skills for the green transition in selected industries (energy and construction).
One of the repeating challenges the team came across when implementing the study, was the lack of international comparable data across the countries on the skill development and supply for the green transition. In addition, some countries had developed much more advanced strategies and tailored policies than others. Therefore, some of the country reports were also much more detailed as a result, which made it difficult to present country reports of the same quality and nuance. Furthermore, some countries/territories also went through very troublesome political and economic situations that made additional data collection and interviews with locals difficult (e.g., Palestine, Lebanon). To resolve this, we also conducted discussion groups with the national experts and the regional officers at ETF, to brainstorm further on the meaning of the findings and what could be potential key take-aways and recommendations. This study’s methodology was innovative because it tried to close some of the additional knowledge gaps – albeit through qualitative methods – and finally advised on how to monitor for a more accurate comparative purpose can be done in the future.
The study achieved its core objectives, and the consultations along the way were crucial for ETF while they were developing their own in-house expertise on skills for the green transition. Examples of key outputs of the study were the thematic reports, a compendium summarising the key developments across the countries, a methodological note with ideas for how to prepare a scoreboard to monitor the progress in the future, and a concise policy brief summarising the main challenges and opportunities. In the future, these outputs will be used by ETF to strengthen their support of the ETF Partner Countries in improving their skills eco-systems for the green transition.