North with 10,000 'energy students' ready for energy transition. But is it enough?

Yesterday 'Talent in Beeld' was published, a monitor of energy-oriented students and thus the specifically trained labor potential in the Northern Netherlands. The overview was compiled by NOM and New Energy Coalition and is an inventory of the 'energy students' named as such at MBO, HBO and WO in the Northern Netherlands. Of the nearly 125,000 students, some 10,000 were designated as energy students in the surveyed 2019/20 academic year. This means that 1 in 12 graduating students enter the job market with energy knowledge. More than 7,000 of these are in secondary school and 2,700 in higher education. The monitor will annually provide a useful picture of the available potential for the energy-related labor market and thus support the business climate for energy activities in the region.

The energy transition is in full swing in the Northern Netherlands. The traditional natural gas sector based on the Groninger field is being phased out and at the same time there are huge investment plans in the field of hydrogen, for example. Besides investment in technology, the energy transition also requires investment in sufficient and properly trained people. Numerous reports from international think tanks indicate that green recovery will bring a large growth in jobs. Just this week, for example, Algemeen Dagblad reported that the hydrogen economy alone will give us 23,000 to 41,000 jobs in the Netherlands alone.

For business activity in the region, the right match in labor potential is an important factor. This is why NOM and New Energy Coalition compiled the Monitor Talent in Focus.

Without the right-educated people who (will) work in the new energy sectors, the energy transition will be in trouble. 'This not only involves people with technical knowledge and skills, but also students and professionals such as lawyers, economists, communications people, planners, you name it. Almost all aspects of daily life touch our energy system and vice versa. And we need the right-educated people for that," said Hielke Hekman, program manager for Human Capital at New Energy Coalition.

Education and research programs

In recent years, knowledge institutions such as Hanzehogeschool, RUG and northern ROCs have worked hard on education and research programs focused on energy transition. 'And that now translates into a growing group of 'energy-interested' students and graduates: in the North almost 17,500! This shows the growing awareness and interest in the energy transition, and it gives good hope for available people with targeted qualifications. Whether the right match arises in the future labor market is the question, and that is where the Monitor that has now been developed helps. Especially when we will soon have annually updated figures.'

With this Monitor in hand, it is good to look at what training and new workforce is still needed, it also brings into focus what talent is already available in the region. 'This is important for the regional labor market, we can better analyze where any mismatch arises,' said Soraya Aimée Ludema, Project Manager Foreign Direct Investment at NOM . 'But this information also gives a boost to the establishment climate of (international) companies in the energy transition. After all, we can now show even better what talent the region has to offer.'

Meet Your Future in Energy

The monitor used data from the MBOs affiliated with Energy College (7 ROCs in Groningen, Friesland, Drenthe), Hanze University Groningen and the University of Groningen. In the future, other educational institutions in (North) Netherlands may join. The monitor is updated and published annually. The Monitor 'Talent in Focus' is available via the websites of NOM and New Energy Coalition.

Energy students and graduates will meet their potential employers of the future on April 22 at the online career event "Meet Your Future in Energy," which takes place twice a year (online now). Some 45 companies are presenting this time and hundreds of students and professionals will visit the event.

About Meet Your Future in Energy (next April 22)

Entrepreneurs and students from MBO, HBO, WO and (young) professionals will meet online during 'Meet Your Future in Energy' career event on Thursday, April 22, next from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Innovative companies that want a virtual 'booth' at the information market, want to submit job openings, organize a workshop or otherwise participate can still register with the Energy Academy of New Energy 

Go to the Talent in Focus Monitor