Europe could create millions of jobs with digital and sustainability push

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Employers in Europe could create between 4.4 million and 5.7 million net jobs by 2030 if governments and organisations take action to accelerate ‘twin transformation’ in digital adoption and sustainability, according to a report by consulting firm Accenture.

In order to drive this growth, Accenture’s Europe’s new dawn report states that labour markets will require “significant macro and micro tailwinds”, including the roll out of vaccination programmes; the implementation of recovery spending packages; the recovery of labour market participation; the creation of new, resilient business models and job opportunities; and public and private sector collaboration on reskilling and upskilling programmes.

The top industries where net job creation was expected by Accenture to be the highest included industrial equipment; high tech, software and platform; utilities; automotive; life sciences; and communications and media.

However, organisations across Europe faced numerous barriers to achieving this, said the study. More than half (53%) reported a lack of skilled talent in the market – this was especially true of automotive (60%) and software/high tech industries (58%).

Only 30% of the workforce were skilled in digital technologies, Accenture found.

Investment in upskilling and reskilling programmes at scale was a priority for 51% of firms. About a third (32%) said they wanted to provide employees with more customised development programmes, and 30% wanted to offer more flexibility to workers.

One employer, BP, told the report’s authors: “This transformation requires not just a complete set of new skills for this company, but also a mindset that pivots this entire organization towards a new magnetic north of net-zero. This is really changing everything about this company, with a big shift away from hydrocarbons towards renewable energy, and a focus on customer propositions through electrification, and growing those businesses in a way that is sustainable for our planet.”

The report also finds that the number of jobs across Europe is expected to rebound to the pre-pandemic level in 2023 – a much quicker pace of recovery than the last financial crisis.

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