EC’s New Skills for New Jobs initiative: Anticipating and matching labour market and skills needs

The European Commission has recently launched the New Skills for New Jobs initiative that aims to help Europe recover from the current financial crisis by upgrading skills to enhance human capital, increase employability and better match the supply of skills with labour market needs.

This initiative is a part of the European Economic Recovery Plan to promote employment and the reintegration of redundant workers through retraining and up-skilling measures. The creation of a labour market that is adaptable to future skills requirements and socio-economic changes is crucial for competitiveness, short and long-term productivity, as well as gender equality and social cohesion.

The Commission’s analysis of the EU economy shows a need to increase workers’ flexibility and adaptability to better match the opportunities offered by the market. Most work activities require a progressive broadening of employee skills portfolios as well as transversal competencies such as problem-solving, self-management, and communication and linguistic skills. Skills upgrading is therefore a necessity for all Europeans, from highly-qualified professionals to traditional ‘low-skill’ workers.

To address the skills mismatch, the Commission outlines a number of actions including the establishment of a monitoring tool called the European Labour Market Monitor to assess short-term trends and variations in the labour market. The creation of an online Match and Map tool to provide citizens with information on occupations, skills and training opportunities across the EU is also planned for 2009. Additional actions include strengthening the EU’s capacity to anticipate skills needs, deepening international cooperation and mobilising existing Community instruments.

The results of the “New Skills for New Jobs” initiatives will be evaluated by the EC and Member States on an ongoing basis starting in 2010.

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