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European Year of Skills
News article18 April 2024Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion1 min read

Foresight Exercise sheds Light on the Future of Skilled Europe

Brussels, March 26, 2024 - In the framework of the European Year of Skills, the "Foresight Exercise: The Future of Skilled Europe" took place in Brussels, organised by the European Commission Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (DG EMPL), with the backing of the Joint Research Centre (JRC).

Foresight Exercise

25 experts and stakeholders explored the future of skills policies in Europe, bringing forth a diversity of perspectives from national administrations, international organisations, social partners, academia, practitioners and EU institutions.  

The exercise used an innovative foresight methodology, leveraging four scenarios delineated in the JRC's "Reference foresight scenarios on the global standing of the EU in 2040" report.  

In terms of policy gaps, experts agreed that the following represent the pressing priorities for European skills policies: 

  1. Anticipating emerging skill demands is key in the adaptation to changes driven by the green and digital transitions, as well as geopolitical developments . 

  1. Adaptive training paradigms, capable of swiftly adapting to evolving market dynamics and socio-political challanges, are becoming more and more critical. This necessitates a proactive approach informed by real-time labour market intelligence. 

  1. Tailored learning, such as personalised training offer, must be accessible across diverse contexts, including formal education settings and informal learning environment 

There was consensus that in preparing for future challenges, the EU should focus on several skills policy actions, and special emphasis was given to the following: 

  1. Recognition of training as a fundamental right and implementation of support measures that make the right to training and lifelong learning a reality, such as “individual pathways”.  

  1. More sustainable investment and continuity of initiatives fostering skills development are needed to make progress. 

  1. Improve skills governance, including through the strengthening of comprehensive skills strategies, the use of a whole of government approach to skills, strategies to attract talent from third countries or the nomination of a Vice President for Skills at the European Commission.  

  1. Put in place incentives to motivate people to upskill and reskill, including through better linking the training and the job offer, solid career guidance and by ensuring the quality of training and quality of the job offers. 

Looking ahead, the insights from the workshop will feed into the closing conference of the European Year of Skills scheduled for April 30, 2024.