empirica quoted in major VDE publication on the impact of the digitisation of energy nets on the future of ‘energy’ jobs: need for intensive re- and upskilling

In its major publication ‘VDI Nachrichten’ of 26th June 2020, the German electronics association VDE* reported about some of the results of the accompanying research work of empirica in the programme SINTEG – “Smart Energy Showcases – Digital Agenda for the Energy Transition”**) co-funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy’s together with industry.

In an article on ‘Energy Jobs 4.0′ empirica Senior Advisor Werner B. Korte is quoted with conclusions from the SINTEG working group ‘Energy Jobs in Transition’ which was moderated by empirica. The experts in that working group emphasised the need for sensitising different stakeholders for the new skills needed in the digital age and the urgent need for up- and re-skilling the workforce to make it fit for the upcoming digitisation of energy networks. This holds true for employees and workers at all professional levels and it affects all education levels from secondary, vocational to tertiary education level. Hence, it includes academics and individuals such as engineers coming from university as well as technicians in Vocational Education and Training (VET) leaving school. Certification is seen to ensure quality in further training. But for the time being and near future experts believe that we will continue to be faced with the co-existence of trainings of different type, format, and duration with certificates of different strength next to those without any certificate. According to Werner B. Korte and “especially when it comes to the future topics of the energy industry, we need not only further training measures with strict certificates, but also fast and good offers that raise awareness of the energy turnaround.” The summary report of the SINTEG ‘Energy in Transition’ working group is planned to be published later in 2020.

*) VDE Verband der Elektrotechnik Elektronik Informationstechnik e. V. is one of the largest technology organisations in Europe and in existence for more than 125 years. VDE is the only organisation in the world that combines science, standardisation, testing, certification, and application consulting under one umbrella.

**) SINTEG is a programme that drives forward the digitisation of the energy industry and supports the transformation of energy systems. It was initiated by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. SINTEG practice tests are being conducted in five model regions across Germany to look at how the smart energy supply of tomorrow can be designed, and how a smart energy system can be established. Experts are using the model regions to develop and test new technologies, processes and business models and to design solutions for the technical, economic and regulatory challenges created by digitising the energy sector. Blueprints are being developed for how to digitalise the energy industry, which can then be applied all over Germany and throughout the world.

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Empirica, as part of the consortium for the project, was chosen by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy to carry out accompanying research and evaluate the large SINTEG programme, which sets out to showcase large-scale solutions to renewables integration.