03 February 2021

Changing skills demand in EU neighbourhood- ETF webinar conclusions

On the 3rd of February, we have followed the Changing skills demand in EU neighbourhood live webinar, organized by the European Training Foundation- ETF and learned more about the new skills that are demanded and how young people can adapt to this new, ever-changing context.

Talking about new skills that are demandedFrancesca Rosso, ETF- Labour market expert, mentioned:

"Having to start working digitally brought a series of problems, like lacking infrastructure [...] and has proven more difficult for disadvantaged groups."

"It is very important to set up a permanent monitoring system to monitor these changes and provide information to the educational systems and companies."

"Workers will need to be equipped with new skills to perform jobs that already existed" jobs demands and skills constantly evolving."

"Grey collar workers are, in a way, the blue-collar workers but with more technical skills."

"Not only individuals should make an effort to reskill themselves, but companies should support them too, and even governments should provide frames for the reskilling process."

"There is a continuum between the different sides of education, being essential to focus on quality initial education, but also to work on quality continuous education."

"There is a huge need for basic digital skills for all workers."

Talking about what young people can do to meet all these changesNicoletta Beretta, Education Business Development Manager, mentioned:

"Resiliency. They must be able to grasp new opportunities brought by sciences. They still need to pay attention to the humanities, but the ongoing transformation it's affecting all domains of the economy, with a big impact on the R&D sector."

"In the actual landscape, all young people that know how to innovate and take care of the curriculum which is focused on these subjects about innovation, are taking advantage and will have a considerable benefit from the market, better employability."

"New generations should be able to access these opportunities from the very beginning of their studies."

"In advanced manufacturing, automation, artificial intelligence, are domains young people should focus on, as there is a strong demand from companies in these fields and attract investment from government."

"In general, focus on sciences but don't leave away the humanities, as all companies need managers, need creativity or these soft skills."

Talking about new trends and changes in agriculture Luis Dias Pereira, Economist, Investment Centre of the Food and Agriculture mentioned:

"Increased concern from consumers, buying more local, and paying more attention to food safety."

"As for sustainability issues, as they are saying the pandemic has been caused by environmental imbalances, they will probably pay more attention to that too."

"Old jobs in agriculture will still exist, of course". 

"Even picker will have to be better selecting fruits, in processing units we will have to be more knowledgeable in terms of quality control, so a new set of skills." 

"The pandemic will not bring a complete transformation but it will accelerate the trends we have been seen as the consumers are more aware of the challenges the agriculture faces."

"Not only individuals should make an effort to reskill themselves, but companies should support them too, and even governments should provide frames for the reskilling process."

Talking about the role of private companies in supporting the educational system, Nicoletta Beretta, Education Business Development Manager, mentioned:

"The concepts upskill and reskill are coming back after a couple of years and they are quite important because we see the needs of people in 

"If we are reflecting on the school system, it has changed completely into a big e-Learning platform. Every student is doing activities from their homes so the majority of teachers an students are using e-Learning platform to deliver school activities, doing activities that until now have been reserved to adult training only."

"Technology and e-Learning platforms are at hand. Digitization in ready to use by everyone, also by a sector of people that weren't using them."

 "Digitization is creating new professions, a new way of doing business so we must continue to develop tools for distant life learning activities/continuous learning."