On Thursday 29 October 2020 at 10.00 CET, Cedefop together with the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) , organised a live #AskTheExpert webinar session to delve into the European Company Survey 2019 findings relating to skills.


Moderated by Maria Jepsen, Deputy Director of Eurofound, participants were able to join a lively and interactive debate with the ECS 2019 report authors Giovanni Russo and Gijs van Houten and guest panellists Isabel Coenen, policy advisor at the Dutch trade union FNV and Pär Lündstrom, expert in skills provision with Swedish employers -  both  members of Cedefop’s Management Board.

The survey findings show that training is an important way to achieve positive workplace outcomes and most workplaces in the EU offer at least some training to at least some workers, but only a few offer comprehensive training and learning opportunities.

Participants were able to comment via a LIVE online chat.


10.00 CET Welcome and introduction
10.05 CET Presentation of ECS 2019 findings relating to skills
10.20 CET Discussion with social partners and Q&A with audience - #AskTheExpert
10.55 CET Closing
11.00 CET End of webinar


Moderator: Maria Jepsen

Maria Jepsen was appointed Deputy Director at Eurofound in 2019. Prior to this, she was Director of the research department at the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI), and assistant professor and research fellow at the Free University of Brussels (ULB). She is currently also associate professor in labour economics at ULB and external lecturer at the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL). Her main research interests include gender studies, the impact of welfare states on labour supply, wages and working conditions, and more recently the European social dimension. Maria has also served as a coordinator on the European Commission tripartite advisory committee on health and safety at work. She holds a PhD in Economics and a Master’s degree in Econometrics from the Free University of Brussels (ULB).

Report author: Gijs van Houten

Gijs van Houten is a Research Manager in Eurofound’s Employment unit with specific expertise in cross-national survey methodology and the analysis of workplace practices and organisational strategies. Gijs joined Eurofound in 2010 and has worked on all three Eurofound surveys, focusing on the European Company Survey in recent years. He spent a year away in 2016, working at the Pew Research Center in Washington, DC. He holds a Masters in sociology from Radboud University Nijmegen and a PhD in social science from Utrecht University. He lectured in quantitative research methods at University College Dublin and in policy analysis and institutional theory at Utrecht University. Before joining Eurofound he worked at the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP).

Report author: Giovanni Russo

Giovanni Russo holds a position as Expert at Cedefop, where he works on the issues of skills development, skills mismatch, and skills utilisation. With a background in Labour and Behaviour Economics, he joined Cedefop in 2010, after more than 15 years of career in academia. Previously he was Associate Professor at Utrecht University, Utrecht School of Economics. He has published in various international journals. He holds a PhD in Economics from the Free University of Amsterdam.

Panellist: Pär Lundström

Pär Lundström is an expert in all aspects of Skills Provision and has worked in this capacity with the City of Stockholm, the Association of Electricians and most recently with The Swedish Installation Federation, which bundles companies that install, optimize and control heating, ventilation, water, electrical and telecommunications technology. Pär Lundström is also involved in the #skills4climate campaign which champions accelerated skill development to fulfill the climate ambitions. He has a degree in political science from Uppsala University

Panellist: Isabel Coenen

Isabel Coenen in a policy advisor with FNV, the largest Dutch trade union confederation. Her areas are VET and lifelong learning and she is a member of various committees of the SER (the man advisory body to the Dutch Government and Parliament on national and international social and economic policy) and the Labour Foundation. As a representative of the FNV she negotiates within the field of education and labour market on a central level with ministries, employers and trade unions. She is a graduate of social sciences at the VU University of Amsterdam and Advanced labour studies at the University of Amsterdam.

Event details

Event Date(s)
Event Type
Virtual event
Cedefop involvement


Giovanni Russo
Béatrice Herpin