Ceemet and industriAll Europe, the representative European social partners in the metal industry, have long been jointly advocating for first-class vocational education and training (VET) strategies to support the Metal, Engineering and Technology-based (MET) sector in thriving in, and adapting to a fast-evolving world.
Although many efforts have been made and interesting initiatives delivered by the European Commission over the past years, a lot remained to be done stressed Ceemet and industriAll Europe at their meeting with Commissioner-designate Nicolas Schmit.
The fast-paced transformation of our industries driven by mega trends such as digitalisation, climate change, globalisation and an ageing society is heavily impacting the skills needs that is required in the metal sector.
“The digital transformation of industry and society is not waiting for a new Commission to take office. We need initiatives that facilitate, support and boost right-skilling programmes. It requires from every partner concerned to do its fair share”, stated Uwe Combüchen Director-General of Ceemet.
As they met MEP Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner-designate on the portfolio Jobs & Social rights, IndustriAll Europe and Ceemet therefore recalled their 6 joint priorities.
VET must be acknowledged as a high-quality training choice and learning must be seen as an ongoing process taking place throughout the working life. Well-planned career guidance plays a key role in this context.
On the basis of a continuous anticipation of skill needs at both company and sectoral levels, long-term cooperation between VET providers, companies and public authorities is of crucial importance for national education and training systems to become more adaptable.
Greater efforts must be made to highlight Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), digital as well as soft/transversal skills as priority areas of education and training at all levels.
Good quality vocational education and training which has a strong component of work-based learning, offers pathways with higher education, is delivered in flexible ways thanks to well-trained teachers increases employment prospects and companies’ ability to match their skill needs.
Sectoral social partners and local industry who provide their knowledge of company systems and labour market needs played a key role in successful VET initiatives. IndustriAll Europe and Ceemet call upon the EU policymakers to ensure that they are involved in the development of EU policies on VET and skills.
The EU policy on skills must be coupled with ambitious industrial and employment strategies to yield expected results. To motivate people to invest their time in VET, Europe also requires a strong industry offering favourable employment prospects.
“Should we want MET companies and workers to thrive and adapt to such a fast-evolving world in a socially responsible manner, swift initiatives must be adopted in the area of skills, education and training. The associated time pressure must not be underestimated: now is the time to act!”, stressed Luc Triangle, industriAll Europe General Secretary.