Skills for future jobs in the Mediterranean

How is the world of work changing in the countries of the Mediterranean basin? What skills will people need to navigate this new world? How should education and training change in order to equip people with skills for the future?

These were the key questions on the agenda of the Workshop on the Future of Work and Skills for the Future organised in Turin on 25 November 2019 jointly by the Union for the Mediterranean Secretariat and the European Training Foundation (ETF) in partnership with the German cooperation agency GIZ.

“This event is only a first step towards consolidating a concrete partnership with ETF.” said Rachid Maaninou, Deputy Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean responsible for Business Development and Employment. “We share a common ambition of equipping generation after generation with the necessary skills for the future labour landscape.”

The workshop was organised in response to the Ministerial Declaration of the 4th Union for the Mediterranean Ministerial Conference on Employment and Labour held in Cascais on 2-3 April 2019, which prioritised sustainable solutions to the challenges of the future of work. It built on the results of the International Labour Organisation’s Future of Work Initiative, as well as the ETF’s work on Skills for the Future, which was the focus of a major international conference held in Turin in November 2018.

Bringing together a variety of actors from regional and international organisations, business support organisations, the private sector, civil society, development cooperation agencies and academia from both shores of the Mediterranean, the workshop was an opportunity to share views and experiences, exchange best practices and lessons learned on how to understand the ways in which skills needs are changing, and how to adapt to changing skills needs.

“The reflection on the future of skills indicates that partnerships are essential to manage change, and to face common challenges” said ETF Director, Cesare Onestini. “The ETF partners with the Union for the Mediterranean, offering thematic expertise and country knowledge to address key skills development and employment priorities in the region.”

Green skills, digital and entrepreneurial skills and key competences were among the themes at the centre of discussions. Nathalie Creste, Adviser to the Director of Labour Mobility in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, highlighted the human aspect of change. “We must not forget that there are people behind all this” she said. “One of the mega-trends we face is the challenge of social acceptance of change. We need to put people at the centre of the transformation.”  

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