At a conference on matching education with the needs of public services in the labour market, co-organised by the European centre of employers and enterprises providing public services (CEEP) and the European federation of education employers (EFEE) on 24 January in Brussels, Cedefop Deputy Director Christian Lettmayr presented the Centre’s latest skill forecast and employer survey pilot.
Mr Lettmayr said that CEEP and EFEE’s project is extremely important ‘not only because public services constitute a large share of total employment but also because its quality and efficiency to a large extent impacts on our societies, daily life and the framework conditions for private business.’
He noted that the June 2013 update of Cedefop’s skill forecast, which extended the timescale to 2025, anticipates ‘a general but modest job growth’, adding that ‘nevertheless, under the baseline – or average – scenario, pre-crisis levels of employment will only be reached after 2017.’
Cedefop’s Deputy Director argued that ‘while there is a slow shift away from austerity policies, high-debt levels continue to limit public expenditure, which contributes to the lack of domestic demand and an economic situation characterised by slow growth with a very modest impact on employment.’
He emphasised that ‘even though the number of jobs is unlikely to correspond to or surpass the number of job seekers in the near future, there will still be a large number of job openings, but only a minority – between 2.4 and 13 million jobs in the period until 2015 – will be additional new jobs, while around 103 million will be openings due to replacement demand.’
According to Mr Lettmayr, ‘changing demand, technological development but also organisational changes at the workplace define the “new” skills needed.’
He then presented the employer survey that Cedefop piloted in 2012 and 2013 as a tool to explore how skills needs in particular occupations change and how prepared Europe’s labour force is to address such changes.
‘We have developed a quite extensive methodology with tested tools and, while it would be expensive and difficult to run a pan-European survey across all sectors, these tools are at the service of sectors which want to run their own survey,’ concluded Mr Lettmayr.