Spotlight on future skills needs at a conference in Italy: join the debate

Follow the webstreaming of the ‘Skills for the Future: Managing Transition” conference

The European Training Foundation, the EU agency supporting countries in the EU neighbourhood to undertake reforms in education and employment policies, is organising ‘Skills for the Future: Managing transition’, a conference taking place in Turin, Italy, on 21-22 November 2018. The two-day event aims to explore how developing and transition counties can anticipate and respond to global trends shaping labour markets in countries in the wider neighbourhood of the European Union both now and in the future.

The capacity of the European Union and its neighbouring countries to adapt education and training systems to changes will determine how well we are preparing the next generation to rise above the challenges of the present – harnessing their potential to contribute to inclusive growth and stability”, Cesare Onestini, the ETF's director says.

‘Skills for the Future: Managing Transition’ will be an opportunity to exchange views from the EU and beyond, explore ways to respond to a changing labour market from a skills perspective and to identify solutions. It will focus on the four main topics: Understanding global trends; Tackling country-specific challenges; Addressing the future of skills, education and training; Supporting transition towards the future.

Boosting employability in Europe and beyond

Scheduled at Turin's beautiful 19th century former industrial facility – the OGR Torino, now converted into a visionary conference and exhibition centre – the event will be attended by more than 350 representatives from business, economics, training providers and public bodies coming from 50 countries.

Together with other events taking place in the EU’s neighbouring countries, the Skills4Future conference is branded as part of the European Vocational Skills Week, the EU initiative to raise awareness on the wide range of opportunities available through vocational education and training.

An inclusive, forward-looking conference

The opening morning discussion on 21 November will be open to the press and public. The event will start with a keynote speech by the ETF’s director, Cesare Onestini, followed by interventions by speakers that include Themis Christophidou, the director general of the European Commission's education, youth, sport and culture directorate. The discussion will continue with a discussion by a panel of experts including Sangheon Lee, director for employment at the International Labour Organisation, Thomas Roca, economist and data strategist, Microsoft European and Government Affairs, and Shada Islam, director of Europe and geopolitics, Friends of Europe, on the ‘Impact of global trends on skills in economies and societies’.

From global trend to local solutions

Narrowing the focus, another panel debate will open up a discussion on the ‘Impact of global trends on developing and transition countries’ with contributions from among others, from Gazmend Turdiu, deputy secretary-general, Regional Cooperation Council, and Biljana Radonjic Ker-Lindsay, associate director, economics, politics and governance of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The 21 November morning discussion will be open to the press and public. The conference will later break out into parallel working groups for technical experts. On day two the ‘Future of education and training in the EU and beyond’ will be discussed in a plenary. To conclude, participants will look at the practical details of how transition to future skills training can be achieved by those working in education and training.


The European Training Foundation is the agency of the European Union in charge of supporting the countries neighbouring the EU to reform their education and labour market systems, in line with the EU’s external action. By supporting human capital development, the ETF contributes to social and economic development and to long-term political stability in the EU neighbourhood. The ETF is based in Turin, Italy, and employs 130 staff. Website:

The ‘Skills for the Future: Managing Transition’ conference is organised with the support of Compagnia di San Paolo . It includes an exhibition, named the Experience Path, which will present solutions in place to get ready for the future of work. Contributions from Fondazione ITS per la Mobilità Sostenibile, Politecnico di Torino, Michelangelo Foundation, Università di Scienze Gastronomiche di Pollenzo, VASS Technologies, Wild Mazzini, X Farm will be showcased.

Did you like this article? If you would like to be notified when new content like this is published, subscribe to receive our email alerts.