European Commission moves on battery skills and forced labor


The European Commission has pledged €10 million from its Covid-recovery funding for a skills and training program launched to provide the workforce needed for the continent's battery manufacturing industry.

The European Battery Academy was launched at yesterday's high-level meeting of the European Battery Alliance, which was founded in 2017 to establish a European battery supply chain.

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The academy, under the auspices of EU body the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and its sustainable energy-focused subsidiary entity EIT InnoEnergy, aims to provide the training needed to prepare the estimated 800,000-strong European battery workforce which will be required by 2025.

The commission allocated €10 million for the training program from the €50.6 billion Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe (REACT-EU) segment of its NextGeneration EU Covid recovery initiative.

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The battery alliance was meeting to consider its priorities for this year which will include, according to a commission announcement yesterday, removing red tape associated with the sourcing of battery raw materials in EU member states.

The battery academy funding came on the same day the commission announced plans to regulate to ban products made from forced labor entering the bloc.

The “communication on decent work worldwide” document issued by the EU executive aims to combat forced labor and child labor around the world. The European Parliament and member state representative body the European Council will now be asked to consider the document and be part of the legislative process, the commission said yesterday.

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