The role of skills in developing enterprises

The results of a global survey undertaken by ETF and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in 2020 on the impact of COVID-19 on industrial firms demonstrated that some 42% of those surveyed expect to need different kinds of skills in the future, particularly ICT and soft skills; and that the pandemic has accelerated already existing trends.

Technological innovation and the policy drive for the greening of economies and societies is bringing profound changes in global value chains, business models, employment patterns and occupations. This change is not linear; it is not fully predictable; and its pace is diverse from country to country and from sector to sector posing challenges for enterprises, individuals, and societies to prepare for the future.

What is the ETF doing?

Through a specific initiative the ETF works to identify skills needs and support skills development within enterprises, and encouraging international good practice sharing and network development. It does so in partnership with national intermediary bodies, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and UNIDO, and other international and national stakeholders to inform policy choices and contribute to greener, inclusive, and innovative societies.

The future workforce needs adaptive and responsive skills to ensure economic growth and prosperity. Upskilling and reskilling is needed within a lifelong learning perspective, across age and across professions in many different sectors, in particular, those hit by the crisis generated by the impact of the pandemic on economies.

In 2020/2021, a study is being undertaken to detect how innovative enterprises in the agribusiness sector in Georgia, Morocco, Serbia, Turkey, Uzbekistan have put in place inclusive skills strategies and practices to enhance their resilience in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis and how skills have facilitated necessary changes. This study is being conducted together with key stakeholders within each country and EBRD.

The ETF is also conducting a mapping across all its partner countries to analyse how skills development actions are embedded within enterprise support programs and supporting inclusion, sustainability and greening, and innovation and digitalization.

The ETF has been working consistently for many years in the thematic fields of work-based learning, career guidance and supporting inclusive skills strategies for enterprise development. It undertakes targeted actions and highlights good practices both at enterprise and policy level.   

More information

Join the “Skills for Enterprise Development” virtual community on Open Space and collaboratively share knowledge, research, practices, and experience related to skills for enterprise development, in particular focusing on sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience.

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