European Commission launches Pact for Skills

Submitted by Lee Gibson on 11 November 2020

The European Commission has officially launched the Pact for Skills, a central element of the European Skills Agenda.

The first European skills partnerships in key industrial ecosystems - automotive, microelectronics, and aerospace and defence industries - were also announced at the launch, during European Vocational Skills Week 2020.

The Pact for Skills promotes joint action to maximise the impact of investing in improving existing skills (upskilling) and training in new skills (reskilling).

It calls on industry, employers, social partners, chambers of commerce, public authorities, education and training providers and employment agencies to work together and make a clear commitment to invest in training for all working age people across the Union.

Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, said: “Today, most employers know that investing in skills needs to be a key issue in their strategy. They realise that they cannot rely on governments alone to take the responsibility for education and training.

"The Pact for Skills will gather and inspire different commitments from companies large and small, employment agencies, social partners, VET providers and other partners to create large-scale industrial partnerships. We do not have time for half measures. We need to act now.”  

Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said: “European talent is at the heart of our industrial resilience and will be the engine for the recovery from the pandemic. As the twin green and digital transitions are gathering speed, we want to equip all Europeans with the right skills.

"We are announcing the first skills partnerships in three industrial ecosystems: automotive, microelectronics and aerospace and defence. More will follow. The launch of the Pact for Skills is just the beginning of our European skills offensive.”

Boosting joint action to maximise impact

The Pact for Skills is accompanied by a Charter outlining a shared vision for quality training from industry, social partners, vocational education and training (VET) providers, national, regional and local authorities. High-level talks with representatives of industrial ecosystems, regional and national authorities, education and social partners and education and training providers have already taken place on this with more planned.

Drawing on these discussions, the pact sets up large-scale partnerships in strategic industrial ecosystems heavily affected by the current crisis and the priority areas identified in the European Green Deal to achieve ambitious commitments.

Joining the Pact

By joining the Pact, stakeholders will gain access to networking, knowledge and resource hubs. The Commission will also offer information and guidance on European Union (EU) funding and programmes for skills development by offering a single-entry point at EU level.

In addition to the funding available under REACT-EU, the European Social Fund Plus and other relevant programmes of the new multiannual financial framework (2021-2027), upskilling and reskilling is one of the flagship investment priorities of the Recovery and Resilience Facility, which is worth €672.5 billion.

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