09 Nov 2020

DIGITALEUROPE’s recommendations on the Pact for Skills

In our response to the European Commission’s stakeholder survey on the Pact for Skills, we outline our recommendations for broad and ambitious action that advances measurable indicators, skills forecasting, and industry involvement in investment activities.

52% of Europe’s workforce need reskilling due to changes in the job market.[1] The upcoming Pact for Skills can help lower this figure and bring us closer to our success indicator for Europe, which is to leave only 32% workers in need of reskilling by 2025.[2]

The Pact should be ambitious and broad in scope, encompassing all individuals potentially interested in new skills to stay or re-enter the job market, and be aligned with other European-level initiatives like the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition. Focus on these aspects will help to ensure meaningful outcomes from the Pact.

In our response to the Commission’s stakeholder survey on the Pact for Skills, we recommend attention on:

  • Measurable indicators: we support the inclusion of KPIs to support commitments made by signatories. KPIs should be expressed in percentages rather than absolute figures to better monitor progress on commitments. This is the case for aspects such as targeted beneficiaries (like individuals trained or SMEs targeted) as well as regions covered in upskilling initiatives.
  • Skills forecasting: the Pact’s activities should leverage the capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) and big data to predict mid- and long-term skills needs in specific sectors and across Past examples should inspire these efforts. For example, DIGITALEUROPE Belgian member AGORIA[3] relied on AI’s abilities to predict the trajectory of skills development until 2030 and inform decision-making on education and training. The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP)[4] is also focused on similar initiatives.
  • Alignment on investments’ goals: the most successful multi-stakeholder training initiatives are those that nurture a sense of co-ownership by both public and private actors. The Pact must keep this aspect at its core. It should forge a shared understanding among stakeholders about new training models. Today, a training facility is no longer just a physical location. It is also a synonym of various communications platforms for sharing best practices and knowledge. Multi-stakeholder partnerships should keep this into account.
  • Industry involvement in investment planning: organisations in the digital space are at the forefront of innovative learning solutions.[5] Those deciding to sign up to the Charter in the Pact would send yet another signal of the industry’s commitment to tackle Europe’s skills gap. They should be granted a firmer role in shaping the priorities of the European Social Fund+, the European Regional Development Fund and their Operational Programmes. Closer industry involvement should start with a deeper involvement in the ESF+ advisory committees at national and regional level.
  • Formal skills’ certification and validation: the Pact should help to advance validation of knowledge and skills acquired by learners. Smoother cross-border job mobility and an easier transfer of competences between sectors would benefit from skills validation.

 


[1] World Economic Forum, The Future of Jobs Report 2018.

[2] More info on our success indicators for Europe in our publication ‘’How to spend it: A digital investment plan for Europe’’.

[3] In Belgium, AGORIA and employment agencies used AI to identify skills trends in the future of the country’s labour market until 2030.

[4] CEDEFOP uses the classification of European skills, competences, qualification and occupations (ESCO) and complex big data analysis techniques to extract information on skills from online vacancies. More info here.

[5] More info on existing educational and training courses on cutting-edge digital technologies offered by DIGITALEUROPE members are here.

Read here our full response

DIGITALEUROPE’s response to the Pact for Skills Stakeholder Survey

For more information, please contact:
Ray Pinto
Director for Digital Transformation
Vincenzo Renda
Senior Policy Manager for Digital Industrial Transformation
Thomas Hellebrand
Policy Officer, Digital Transformation
Back to Digital skills
View the complete Policy Paper
PDF
Our resources on Digital skills
Policy Paper 17 Sep 2020
The new Digital Education Action Plan should boost digital’s role as enabler of innovative and flexible learning
Policy Paper 16 Sep 2020
European social and regional funds must prioritise digital skills investments
Policy Paper 08 May 2020
Accelerating Education Transformation through Technology
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