EU launches the Pact For Skills

The European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, and the European Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, have officially launched the Pact for Skills, a flagship initiative of the European Skills Agenda.

The online event which took place Monday 10 November as part of the European Vocational Skills Week brought together key figures from the European Commission, industry and social partner representatives.

The Pact for Skills promotes joint action to maximise the impact of investing and 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. 

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.

 ‘EU efforts must be supported by efforts at national and local level’ said Commissioner Schmit adding that 'collaboration is key for the Pact for Skills to succeed' ensuring that ‘competitiveness and social fairness must go hand in hand’.

'Skills are central to our recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and for mastering the digital and green transitions,' said Commissioner Breton, adding that businesses, large and small, need skilled people to innovate and grow especially as the recovery will not be about coming back to the status quo'.

There was a call from Commissioner Breton and Sabina Herlitschka, CEO of Infineon Technologies Austria AG for more women in science and engineering.

And Jean-Dominique Senard, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Renault, who described upskilling and reskilling as a core strategy of Renault, called for ‘a constant watch on critical skills, and skills mapping in Europe’ as a necessary component to ensure the Pact for Skills will work.

Manuela Geleng, Director for Skills from the European Commission’s Employment Directorate highlighted the benefits for organisations joining the pact including ' a knowledge hub, seminars, webinars, peer learning experience, guidance, and funding sources at EU level'.

'The Pact for Skills is an excellent example of multi-stakeholder cooperation,' concluded Commissioner Breton

The launch event of the Pact took place on 10 November 2020 during the European Vocational Skills Week 2020, organised by the European Commission in partnership with the German Presidency of the Council of the EU. 

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