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Building the right workforce for the future

Cedefop’s key objective is to look at the world of work and the world of education and to see how we can align them to build the right workforce for the future, the EU agency’s Director James Calleja said at the European Parliament in Brussels on 26 January.

Presenting Cedefop’s work in 2016-17 to the Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee, Mr Calleja added: ‘We know from OECD research that two thirds of our primary school children today will land in jobs which do not exist yet. This is why the accent lies on the key competences young people will need to face the challenges of a rapidly changing labour market. This is exactly what we do at Cedefop and why we share our outputs on platforms that could reach more users.’

At the meeting, MEPs stressed the importance of Cedefop and other EU agencies, and asked questions about work on skills and future jobs.

According to Cedefop’s performance indicators, in 2016 the agency moved closer to Member States, social partners and European citizens. Mr Calleja said that it will continue working in this direction. It will also focus on supporting the European Commission even better including through the New skills agenda for Europe, which was launched last June.

In this context, Mr Calleja identified some of Cedefop’s key challenges and targets for 2017: ‘We are focusing on the New skills agenda for Europe because we want to give priority to skills formation and skills intelligence. Member States need to work on better understanding where their economy is heading, what skills are needed and how this is reflected in vocational education and training (VET).’

According to the Cedefop Director, skills are the most important answer to digital transformation; it is imperative not to let inequalities create social groups who have lost all hope and to ensure that the fourth industrial revolution translates into economic growth and creates benefits for all.

A briefing note accompanying Mr Calleja’s presentation outlines the key roadmaps that the agency’s 2017-20 programming document focuses on: shaping, valuing and informing VET.