On Monday, 27th of September 2023, Ms. Lydia Papadaki (Researcher, AUEB) presented virtually the results of the Report “A skills gaps and needs assessment for the sustainability transformation” that was developed under the CATALYST Erasmus+ project at the 3rd World Conference on Environmental and Earth Sciences in London, UK, one of the leading conferences in the fields of Environmental and Earth Sciences. The conference aimed to gather scholars from all over the world to present the latest research outcomes and advances in relevant fields and provides an ideal environment for making new scientific collaborations; and to promote quality research and create an atmosphere of true international cooperation between Environment Researchers, Climatologists, and Geography Professionals by bringing together the world-class researchers, International Communities, and Industrial heads to discuss the latest developments and innovations in the fields of Environmental and Earth Sciences.
With this study, the CATALYST project—the “European VET Excellence Centre for Leading Sustainable Systems and Business Transformation”—supports the European Green Deal as well as the new industrial and SME initiatives. Autumn 2022 saw online surveys and interviews conducted in the native language in Austria, Germany, Greece, North Macedonia, and Portugal. The survey was completed by 504 professionals and SME representatives, and 64 took part in one-on-one interviews. The goal of the research was to find skills shortages in the market and look into the sustainability and governance practices of the business sector.
A series of roundtables was organized in all five nations from November to December 2022 that brought together companies, academic institutions, government agencies, and civil society organisations to debate sustainability potential and challenges corroborated the study’s conclusions. In order to establish competences, the national roundtables included tactics, policies, laws, business, and education. When implementing sustainable practices, businesses encountered obstacles such as inconsistent legislation, resistance to change, a shortage of human resources, and budgetary constraints. Key development areas were determined to include management, analysis, problem-solving, and sustainability issues, including legislation.
The roundtables and survey suggested upskilling employees, encouraging cooperation across different industries, putting legislation in place to encourage cooperation, and offering training on sustainable awareness. The goal of the CATALYST project is to change students’ perspectives on sustainability by illustrating the advantages of sustainable practices in upcoming classes and providing examples from the actual world.