More than 200 participants explored and debated work organisation and skill development practices that benefit both employers and employees at a joint seminar organised by Cedefop, Eurofound and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels on 19 November.
The seminar was an opportunity to present to policy-makers, academics, practitioners and representatives from national authorities, European institutions, enterprises and trade unions the findings of Eurofound's Third European Company Survey and Cedefop's European skills and jobs survey.
The event also marked the 40-year anniversary of Cedefop and Eurofound - the two longest established EU agencies - and recognised the EESC’s strong tripartite role in EU policy-making. Both agencies are tripartite organisations with a governing structure of employers, trade unions and governments.
Eurofound Director Juan Menéndez-Valdés said: 'Eurofound's work on new forms of work organisation goes back to the 1970s. The objective at that time and still today is to identify practices that help companies improve their performance while also leading to higher levels of employee wellbeing. By providing evidence on how these win-win outcomes can be achieved we are fulfilling our mandate.'
Cedefop Director James Calleja noted: 'Last year, as part of its work on skills, Cedefop carried out its European skills and jobs survey, a major investigation of skill mismatch among adult employees across all 28 EU Member States. The survey is the first to look at skill mismatch over time to take account of changes to people’s skills and their job tasks. Its findings make a strong case for expanding work-based learning; for investing in continuing vocational education and training and adult learning; and show that good jobs develop good skills. All these have important implications for the social dialogue.'
EESC Vice-President, Gonçalo Lobo Xavier, underlined: 'Employment is at the heart of citizens' concerns. Not only do we need to create jobs in Europe but also to better match people skills with the market's needs. The EESC is pleased to celebrate 40 years of efforts carried by Cedefop and Eurofound to create an optimal work environment. We, as organised civil society, will keep advocating in the long run for a better organisation of the workplace.'
In his closing remarks, Nicolas Schmit, Luxembourg’s Minister of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy, congratulated both agencies on their anniversary and their work. He talked about how technology is transforming the economy, pointing out: 'It is important to understand what the opportunities of this transformation are, as well as the risks for employment, for companies and society in general.' He added that technological acceleration may overtake us, which is why policy-makers in Europe need to take steps to provide citizens and enterprises with the tools to keep up with it.
Notes to editors
- The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) supports the development of European vocational education and training (VET) policies and contributes to their implementation. The role of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) is to provide knowledge in the area of social and work-related policies. The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is a consultative body of the European Union. For more information please go to the following links: www.cedefop.europa.eu, http://www.eurofound.europa.eu and www.eesc.europa.eu.
- Cedefop and Eurofound were the first two specialist EU Agencies to be set up by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union to carry out specific legal, technical and scientific tasks in the European Union. The 42 EU Agencies account for 13% of all EU staff and represent 1.5% of the total EU budget. They are an important component of the EU institutional architecture, and add value by providing timely and reliable expertise in specific areas that are critically relevant both to the competitiveness and the job-rich growth of the European Union, as well as to the lives of all Europeans in areas as diverse as medicines, education, chemical safety, justice, security, transport, fundamental rights and the environment.