Politics & Policies

Sectoral Cooperation on Skills in Europe – Three steps to match skills to sectors’ needs

The Blueprint for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills is a new framework for strategic cooperation to address short and medium-term skills needs in a given economic sector. The publication outlines how stakeholders (businesses, trade unions, public authorities, research, education and training institutions etc.) can apply the framework to address sectoral challenges, illustrating the steps towards delivering sector-specific skills solutions through sectoral partnerships. The Blueprint currently focuses on six pilot sectors including: Automotive; Defence; Maritime Technology; Space (geo-information); Textile, Clothing, Leather & Footwear (TCLF); and Tourism. It will be extended to additional sectors in the future.

Three steps to match skills to sectors’ needs

The Blueprint for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills fosters sustainable partnerships among stakeholders to translate a sector’s growth agenda into a comprehensive skills strategy and to take action to address sectoral skills needs.

1. Is the sector ready for an EU-wide partnership on skills?

In this preliminary phase, skills gaps in the sector and their potential impact on growth, innovation and competitiveness are
assessed.
The presence and maturity of the overall growth strategy for the sector is veri ed, as well as the link to EU policy priorities. On this basis, the decision is taken on whether to move to the next phases or not. This groundwork is carried out by the Commission in cooperation with social partners and stakeholders. It can take place in more or less structured ways, depending on the way the sector is organised.

2. Launching sustainable sectoral partnerships

Once the sectors have been chosen, the Commission supports the set-up and the work of sectoral partnerships at EU-level. Each partnership will develop a sectoral skills strategy to support the objectives of the overall growth strategy for the sector and match the demand and supply of skills.
Partners will look into how major trends, such as global, societal, and technological developments, are likely to a ect jobs and skills needs, as well as their potential impact on growth, competitiveness and employment in the sector (e.g. restructuring, hard-to- ll vacancies). It will then identify priorities and milestones for action and develop concrete solutions. The partnership will:

■ Revise or create occupational pro les and the corresponding skills needs, drawing on the classi cation of European Skills, Competences, Quali cations and Occupations (ESCO)5 and existing competence frameworks6;
■ Update or create curricula while promoting sectoral quali cations and certi cations;
■ Promote bene ts of choosing a career in the sector and foster gender balance;
■ Promote job-seeker and student mobility across Europe in the sector, capitalising on the use of existing EU tools7;
■ Identify successful projects and best practices, including e ective use of EU funding;
■ Design an industry-led action plan for the long-term roll-out of the strategy and its results and ensure sustained cooperation among stakeholders at European, national and regional levels.
The platforms will build on European tools relating to skills and quali cations.8

3. Roll-out at national and regional level

Building on the results achieved at EU level, the Blueprint will be rolled out at national and regional level, in cooperation with national and regional authorities, and stakeholders. The members of the EU partnerships and the Commission will actively engage in dissemination and awareness raising activities to rally all interested national and regional stakeholders and ensure broad involvement and take up. The main tasks of national/regional partnerships will be to:
■ Implement the EU-level sectoral skills strategy and action plan recommendations, while adapting them to national contexts and priorities;
■ Implement business-education-research partnerships on the ground, including in the context of smart specialisation9;
■ Raise visibility and share results widely to in uence EU, national and regional policies, initiatives and intelligence tools.

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Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Publications catalogue – Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion – European Commission

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