Having the right skills is essential for individuals’ success in a fast changing labour market. The recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the rhythm of change in how we live, learn and work, as well as how we progress in our careers. The Pact for Skills was set up to bring together employers, workers, public employment services, regional authorities and others to identify what skills will be needed in different sectors of the economy to ensure we can flourish in a more green and digital society.
The Pact celebrated its first birthday on 10 November. A lot has happened in the last year and the strong alliances already built are creating more opportunities for working-age people across Europe to learn new skills and improve their prospects in the labour market and at work.
Bringing stakeholders together
More than 450 organisations from all Member States have signed up – and the community is growing. Members include:
- big multinational companies such as Nestlé, SAP, Google, Cisco, Microsoft, Ford Europe and Hitachi Europe
- local training providers
- chambers of commerce
- small and medium-sized enterprises
- sectoral clusters such as the AVASEAN cleantech cluster in Spain and the “mareFVG” marine technology cluster in Italy
- regional authorities
- employer and trade union representatives.
What does it mean to be a Pact for Skills member?
Everyone joining the Pact commits to a charter to build quality and inclusive skills initiatives and work against discrimination and for equal opportunities.
They also set out for their partnership or organisation concrete targets on what they want to do to increase skills, for instance a commitment to:
- train people in their sector
- invest in up and reskilling
- develop new training programmes
- promote the value of learning in their organisation and with their partners.
Following high level round tables with movers and shakers in the 14 ‘industrial ecosystems’ identified by the EU Industry Strategy, large-scale partnerships are starting to emerge.
The first five partnerships in automotive, microelectronics, aerospace & defence, offshore renewable energy and shipbuilding and maritime technology – have announced commitments, pledging to up- and reskill over 1.5 million people in Europe. They’re also working on ways to attract new workers to their industry and gathering intelligence on future skills needs in co-operation with EU social partners.
Examples of what is happening
The Automotive Skills Alliance: more than 80 partners working in 5 thematic areas that respond to some of the most pressing drivers of change for the automotive sector. In the coming years they’ll train 700,000 people for a mobility workforce of the future.
The MATES project is building a partnership under the Pact for Skills to attract talent and build capacity in offshore renewable energies.
In microelectronics, over 50 businesses, R&D hubs, education providers and NGOs have come together to set out a roadmap towards a highly skilled workforce. ‘Access to the right skills will be THE currency for the whole semiconductor industry going forward. With the Pact for Skills we have the right partners working together to truly create that skills advantage for Europe’ (Martin Stöckl, SVP People and Organization effectiveness, Infineon Technologies AG)
The Pact for Skills is for social partners industriAll Europe and Ceemet, a tool to provide stakeholders examples of best practices and means to take action and step up re- and upskilling making the green and digital transitions a success. ‘We are key to support the implementation of the Pact for Skills in the Member States as this is where the skills policies are developed. At national, regional and/or local level, our members jointly anticipate and manage skills and training needs, develop skills policies for our industries and organise training’.
These are just a few examples, lots more are on Pact for Skills website.
Through the Pact for Skills, the European Commission is bringing together stakeholders to create a culture of lifelong learning at work.
The Pact is one of the 12 flagship actions of the European Skills Agenda that the Commission presented in July 2020.
The Agenda’s actions, including the Pact for Skills, set a policy framework for delivering on the objectives of the European Pillar of Social Rights.
This includes the EU level target, welcomed earlier this year at the Porto Social Summit by Heads of State and Government, that by 2030 at least 60% of adults should participate in training every year.
Join the Pact for Skills!
See what others are doing, get inspired, and take the next step by signing up.
Text and photo: European Commission