Europe Day 2023

Celebrating the European Year of Skills

9 May 2023

Europe Day, the 9th May, celebrates the founding of the European Union, through the signing of the Schuman Declaration in 1950. Today, the European Union has 27 Member States, working together to uphold European values and ensure a bright future for all citizens. 

The theme of this year’s Europe Day is building a Europe that is green, digital, and competitive, fair and skilled, as well as strong, resilient, and safe.

At SolarPower Europe, we feel proud to be situated on the Shuman roundabout in Brussels, in the heart of the European Union. We work closely with neighbours in the European institutions to ensure the right policy framework for solar energy to thrive in Europe and beyond; a key step to ensuring energy security, and protecting our planet.

On Europe Day 2023, the European Commission celebrated The European Year of Skills Festival. At SolarPower Europe we’re also embracing the focus on skills, as we move into an age where skilled solar workers are truly the foot soldiers of the energy transition.


The event focused on investing in the skills of all European citizens, preparing Europe for the digital and green transition. 

“Investing in training is not just the right thing, but also the smart thing to do, to build a competitive and resilient Europe” - European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen
© European Union
“We can have all the ideas, ambition, and money in the world but without skills we won’t realise anything” - Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager
© European Union

The urgency of the skills matter was made clear with some numbers: about 90% of jobs in the near future will require digital skills, but currently only 46% of people can perform basic digital tasks such as browsing the internet. Moreover, already 77% of companies today are reporting difficulty finding people with the necessary skills. Finding candidates with the right skills, including digital skills, is also the main bottleneck solar companies are experiencing in their recruitment processes.

So what can we expect from this Year of Skills?



“The Year of Skills wants to first change the mindset, but secondly motivate companies, member states and regions and in the end individuals that skills is the new goal. You have the opportunity to invest in your own skills, and on this, Europe’s prosperity will be built.” 


- European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit

© European Union

Solar is booming and recruiting. 


In 2022, Europe installed over 40 GW of solar; an almost 50% market growth from 2021. And we expect this to only grow further in the coming years as we strive towards 1 TW solar in Europe. This growth requires a wealth of solar workers to build, sell, install, and maintain solar panels across the continent.


In our most recent Solar Jobs Report, modelling indicates that reaching the 2030 solar target of 750 GW - set out in the European Commission’s REPowerEU package - will result in the creation of over 1 million direct and indirect jobs in the EU solar industry in that year, more than doubling the employment in the sector compared to 2021.


Last December, SolarPower Europe launched the #SolarWorks Platform, an online jobs platform for the solar sector. Through the site, we match job seekers with solar companies and training facilities, all based on their skills. Solar companies in Europe and beyond are welcome to register for free, create their company profile and upload their latest open vacancies. Soon, the website will also be available in Dutch, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Polish. 


Follow #SolarWorks social media channels to stay up to date with the platform, and hear more about how we promote vacancies to job seekers across Europe, while building awareness about what working in the solar sector is like. 

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