EU Pact for Skills needed to get ready for transition

CEC European Mangers has, in its function as European social partner, participated in the EU consultation about creating a European Pact for Skills among various stakeholders. In its response to the European Commission’s questionnaire, CEC has highlighted the crucial role of leadership in building a new European skill ecosystem. Without the capacity to green our jobs and align them to our vision for the future, skill development in the EU risks not being fit for the future.

Managers are increasingly using tools such as (skill) forecasting and backcasting in order to achieve greater strategic leverage in a VUCA world. Instead of filling gaps for skills that were required 30 years ago, it’s now about identifying the skills that will be needed in the future and investing in them. These will have to be designed as to respond to the challenges set by planetary boundaries, societal needs and open innovation. Unfortunately, managers in Europe are not equipped with the skills needed for the transition, as our major study on Sustainable Leadership in Europe has shown.

“Social partnership has proven to be more resilient in times of crisis by more flexibly adjusting to economic shocks. We have to see the current crisis as an opportunity to reflect upon ways that social partners and other stakeholders can provide the right skills needed in this transition.”
Ebba Öhlund, Deputy Secretary General of CEC European Managers.

The Commission is proposing a Pact for Skills as “a new engagement and model for skills” that will help meet COVID-19 challenges and deliver on the ambitions of the recovery pathway, the EU Industrial Strategy and the green and digital transition. Industry, public and private employers, social partners, education and training providers and employment agencies will be called to work together and to create a shared vision and action. The main objective of the Pact is to mobilise and incentivize all relevant stakeholders to take concrete actions for the upskilling and reskilling of people of working age, by pooling efforts and setting up partnerships addressing the needs of the labour market, supporting green and digital transitions as well as local, regional growth strategies.”

CEC European Managers is ready to contribute shaping a shared vision about a world of work that can effectively deliver on the need to transition to more qualitative economic growth, positive social impact, as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation. Skill, management and leadership development have to be designed in a way that ensures that the EU’s policy objectives, including net zero GHG emissions and becoming a circular economy, can be met.

As stated in the Sustainable Leadership in Europe Report, most managers are not sufficiently equipped for the transition. The gap between political ambition and management reality on the ground affects all relevant areas: sustainability values (why transition?), leadership skills (how to transition?), knowledge on frameworks and tools (what to transition?), as well as behaviours (implementing transition effectively). Sustainable Leadership today is about identifying, activating and practicing transition skills in the workforce. With the help of a purposeful digitalisation, this leadership can help boost the EU’s performance economic, social and environmental sustainability.

Please find the consultation document here

Please find the response of CEC European Managers to the EU Consultation on the European Pact for Skills here.