EMF welcomes Commission initiative to create a European Automotive Skills Council

(PresseBox) ( Brussels, )
The European Metalworkers' Federation (EMF) welcomes the EU Commission Communication on a "European Strategy on clean and energy efficient vehicles" published today.

Peter Scherrer, EMF General Secretary said: "The Communication announces the creation of a European Sectoral Skills Council. This is actually one of our principal demands. We are able to predict that the switch to electric vehicles will have a considerable impact on the whole structure of the sector, and particularly on employment. The Communication reference to employment is somewhat brief but it does open up the possibility for anticipation, jointly organised by the social partners."

He further stated: "The EMF welcomes the document as a whole, because it allows the European automotive industry to engage in longterm planning and opens up a perspective for electric vehicles. The trade unions are in favour of cleaner transport and we are willing to make our contribution. But employment and social issues have to be tackled with the same priority as the infrastructure and regulatory issues."

For the EMF, structural changes in the automotive sector are unavoidable in terms of the division of labour between original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers, but also in terms of employment structure. R&D is likely to receive public funding for the coming years. However, taxpayers support has to be closely linked to conditions in terms of social, economic and technological efficiency.

A change from past policy is needed. In 2009, the European Investment Bank attributed almost 10 billion euros to the sector, without any prior conditions. Currently no expost evaluation is under way. The EMF calls on the European Council and European Parliament to introduce jobcreation effects as a condition for obtaining financial support.

The EMF is convinced that a joint coordination effort between public authorities, employees and employers in the sector will enable it to master the challenges of the future and contribute to a more sustainable industry in Europe.
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