Conference: New Skills for New Jobs: Action Now

4 February 2010 Brussels

In December 2008 the European Commission proposed a strategy (‘New Skills for New Jobs. Anticipating and matching labour market needs’, COM (2008) 868 Final) to help ensure a better match between skills  and labour market needs and to organize the assessment of the Union’s future skills and jobs requirements on a permanent basis. As a result a group of experts was set up in March 2009 to report on New Skills for New Jobs.
On 4th February the findings of the expert group were presented in Brussels under the title “New Skills for New Jobs: Action Now”. The report is available on line at

and at

The experts group findings are grouped in four priorities detailed in 34 specific recommendations. The four priorities are:

a.Provide the right incentives to upgrade and better use skills for individuals and employers
b.Bring the worlds of education, training and work closer together
c.Develop the right mix of skills
d.Better anticipate future skills needs

The study clearly demonstrates the cap between job market needs and education. EU is not yet highly skilled enough to guarantee its future success. You are all urged to go through the findings to assist you in developing new programs or amending existing ones.

The Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Mr Vladimir Spidla stressed that we must all rethink education and training. New skills can compact unemployment and EU must double its financial effort if Europe is to become world class incubator for job skills.

Odile Quintin indicated that 80% of population is under skilled and schools must change their curriculum to meet the new skills need. Teachers must be retrained and Universities should open up for new type of students and nontraditional programmes.

Aviana Bulgarelli, Director of Cedefop, pointed out that jobs lost during the recession were primarily low skill jobs. In fact, high skill jobs had an increase during the recession. Studies by Cedefop indicate a continuation of this trend up to 2020. The demand for medium and high qualifications will increase while a sharp decrease for the low qualification jobs will be observed for the same period.

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