The Swedish Government has invested in a new state-financed initiative to develop skills to meet the challenge of climate change, with the aim of facilitating industry’s climate transition and the transition to a circular economy. The initiative is intended to reduce unemployment and create the conditions for developing tomorrow’s circular, climate-smart solutions.

In total, SEK 100 million will be invested during 2022, with SEK 17.5 million earmarked for the task of developing MOOCs to support society’s climate transition. MOOCs are free of charge and have no entry requirements.

An all-round, coordinated range of courses

The higher education institutions tasked with developing MOOCs to support society’s climate transition are Uppsala University, Lund University, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Linköping University, Umeå University, Luleå University of Technology, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Mälardalen University. Uppsala University will be coordinating the work of the higher education institutions to ensure that an all-round, coordinated range of courses is developed and offered.

“We are proud and delighted to shoulder the important role of coordinating massive open online courses on climate transition. This is a vital area in that it is a form of education that has an immediate impact,” says Johan Tysk, vice-rector of the Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology.

New demands for advanced expertise

Societal developments in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing climate transition mean that concerns such as digitisation, automation and electrification will influence future demand for labour, not least in northern Sweden. This places new demands for advanced expertise in the workforce.

Training may be needed for not only employees who are directly involved in industrial R&D and production processes, but also those who work in areas such as planning, purchasing or procurement. The purpose of the proposed MOOCs is to provide shorter continuing professional development courses in fields such as engineering, science, procurement law, computer science and urban planning.

One piece of the climate transition puzzle

“We are aware of the high demand for skills development for professionals. MOOCs make it possible for more people to learn the skills they need for the climate transition. This is yet another piece of the puzzle so that Sweden can continue at the forefront of the climate transition with tomorrow’s green jobs,” says Minister for Education Anna Ekström in a press release.

The work of developing MOOCs will be conducted in dialogue with relevant organisations and surrounding communities, including the affected regional authorities. Chalmers University of Technology will also receive funds for the same purpose. Courses are to be offered starting in 2022.