Upgrading jobs must go together with upskilling and reskilling the workforce to achieve 'permaskilling', which will allow Europe to implement the twin transitions smoothly and efficiently.

Speaking at the 153rd Plenary Session of the European Committee of the Regions about the European Year of Skills on 9 February, Cedefop Executive Director Jürgen Siebel focused on the role of skills in helping people and societies prosper and grow, stressing that, essentially, the green and digital transitions are skills transitions.

He noted that Cedefop’s European Skills and Jobs Survey shows that 52% of employed adults have digital upskilling potential, including basic digital skills training and added that the Agency's research points to two pillars:

  • Strategic foresight helps us see what skills and occupations will be trending in the near and more distant future.
  • Vocational education and training (VET) is all about how we can prepare people for the transformations in the world of work, given its privileged position to attack skills shortages and underutilisation.

Mr Siebel said that connecting upskilling with job upgrading, what Cedefop calls permaskilling, challenges conventional thinking taking a broader approach to implementing skills policy and is a win-win-win formula:

Not only young and adult workers benefit from more interesting and fulfilling work, autonomy, better job quality and more learning opportunities, but also enterprises, societies and regions share in the benefits.

Europe is ready for the skills revolution

Cedefop's Executive Director highlighted the crucial and expanding role of skills intelligence in preparing and implementing the twin transitions:

'It shows us where we need to go in disruptive times and maps transition opportunities for sectors, regions, people; we are getting better at understanding change translating it into training and learning opportunities.'

He also underlined the need to become much more systematic in adult learning and continuing VET (CVET), as skills develop inside VET systems and skills ecosystems, often at grassroots level, and expressed optimism about the prospect of a skills revolution for Europe, given the existence of a powerful policy framework, unprecedented funding opportunities, including as part of the Recovery and Resilience Facility, and national implementation plans.