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Unlocking Skills Potential Across Europe: Insights from the Pact for Skills Forum

Article written by Jip Lenssen - Project Officer

The labour market is faced with a sharp shortage with serious concerns for the readiness and availability of the skills needed for the future workplace. Especially during times of the green and digital transition, skills are at the centre of building a resilient and competitive workforce.

The Pact for Skills, launched in November 2020, is the flagship action of the European Skills Agenda. It aims to support organisations in the public and private sectors to maximise their impact in upskilling and reskilling.

The Pact for Skills enacts national, regional, and local authorities including companies, social partners, cross-industry and sectoral organisations, chambers of commerce, education and training providers, and employment services to join forces and commit to investing in training for Europe’s working-age population.

The Pact for Skills achieves this by creating synergies by the abovementioned actors to initiate actions that support upskilling and reskilling of adults, providing access to funding opportunities. Regional stakeholders have an important role in this process as they have the opportunity to engage the relevant stakeholderson the ground to make a lasting impact.

An initiative that might be of particular interest to you is the Pact for Skills Regional Partnerships which brings together private and public stakeholders to take concrete actions linked to regional economic development or skills strategies. The Pact for Skills Support Services aims to directly support existing or potential regional skills partnerships by providing tailored guidance that includes, but is not limited to partner search, awareness raising, defining targets for actions and assistance in communications.

Reflections on the Forum:

The Pact for Skills Forum provided a platform for relevant stakeholders from across the board to reflect on the progress that has been made under the Pact and its future trajectory. As European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Niclas Schmit rightfully said:

"We are in the midst of a technological revolution which changes everything. This revolution needs people, because it doesn’t function without people, therefore, we need the upskilling and reskilling of our workforce."

This statement bears witness to the importance of the forum’s timing as preparing the workforce for the challenges and opportunities ahead is highly urgent.

As a proud member of the Pact, EURADA remains committed to devoting its efforts to support skills development contributing to regions’ economic and social cohesion. What’s more, EURADA is also involved in Technical Assistance for regions in the talent development trap on the Harnessing Talent Platform. For more information on this initiative, please visit the website here.

The Pact for Skills Forum once more established the importance of such initiatives and incentivised the secretariat to continue to work towards a bright future for Europe’s regions. As Ann Branch Branch, Head of Unit at DG EMPL said:

“The pace of change is so fast, the green and digital transitions are so urgent, that no one actor can do it alone”.

The Pact for Skills Forum marked a pivotal moment as the European Year of Skills is slowly coming to an end. It reiterated the work that needs to be done, the synergies that are to be made and most importantly the power of collaboration that is so desperately needed to shape the future of skill development in Europe’s regions.         

For more information about the Pact for Skills please visit the website here. For any inquiries, please contact our colleague Jip Lenssen.