SMALEI at the ‘Making Skills Count Conference’
The ‘Making Skills Count Conference’ was one of the flagship events taking place during the European Year of Skills, held from June 8- 9 2023. The conference brought together policymakers, experts, and stakeholders from across Europe to explore the significance of skills in various contexts. The event featured engaging discussions, inspiring speeches, and thought-provoking panels that shed light on the importance of skills in driving economic growth and societal well-being.
Commissioner Nicolas Schmit inaugurated the conference by highlighting the pressing skills gaps in Europe, including shortages in IT specialists, hospitality, and care sectors. He stressed the need for companies to invest in their workforce and called for support measures to address skills shortages and underutilisation of skills. Commissioner Schmit also emphasised the responsibility of political representatives and society to provide opportunities and confidence to the approximately 8 million NEETs (young people not in employment, education, or training) to actively engage in lifelong learning and the labour market. He expressed confidence that the European Year of Skills would raise awareness of the importance of investing in people for Europe’s continued prosperity.
Skills for the green and digital transition and for net-zero industry
The second panel centred around The Green Deal Industrial Plan and the net-zero package of measures adopted recently, which highlight the urgency of tackling skills gaps in order to achieve the green transition and climate targets, which EU countries have agreed to. This panel explored which technical – including green and digital – skills are most needed by the labour market to achieve the twin transition, in the EU and globally. Which approaches already exist, how can relevant skills be identified, and how can people be better equipped to adapt?
Iñigo Araiztegui Arraiz, Director of Internationalisation at the Basque VET Applied Research Centre (Tknika) was one of the panellists and shared the Basque overview on technical skills, particularly in green and digital sectors. He participated in the panel and also attended the market’s pitch where SMALEI (Sustainability Matrix for Adult Learning and Education Institutions) was also presented. Colleagues from the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) provided information about the project and engaged with visitors, offering insights into the innovative matrix developed within the framework of SMALEI.
If you would like to watch any of the Conference’s best moments, including all workshops, please access the recordings here. To remain up to date on all news and major events regarding the European Year of Skills, visit the European Year of Skills Webpage.