The role of local actors in upskilling and reskilling was highlighted during the European Week of the Regions

The Pact for Skills fosters collaboration between those tackling the challenges posed by the green and digital transitions, and also aims to contribute to the overall development of territories throughout Europe. 

These dual purposes were discussed on 14 October in the webinar “What can Regions and Cities do for up and reskilling with the Pact for Skills?” organised by the European Committee of Regions (CoR) and the European Commission DG EMPL during the 19th European Week of Regions. 

The event inspired regions and cities around Europe to be part of the Pact for Skills, the first milestone of the Skills Agenda launched by the European Commission last year. In order to enhance the recovery after Covid-19 and meet the objectives of the European Green Deal, the Pact for Skills is offering a shared engagement model for skills development in Europe while also pushing companies, workers, local authorities, social partners, education bodies and training providers to take concrete action to upskill and reskill people in Europe.  

The event was moderated by Markku Markulla, former CoR President, and introduced by the chair of the CoR’s Commission for Social Policy, Education, Employment, Research and Culture (SEDEC), Anne Karjalainen, and the Director for Jobs and Skills in DG EMPL Manuela Geleng.  

The Automotive Skills Alliance was among the first initiatives launched under the Pact for Skills and was invited yesterday to contribute its experience after one year of work that has already involved about 80 partners and nine regions. 

Petr Dolejsi from ACEA, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, one of the sectorial associations driving the initiative, reported how the ASA was born one year ago, but the cooperation between automotive associations started in principle five years ago. From the outset, it was clear that to carry out such a large-scale reskilling plan, it was necessary to cooperate and involve all stakeholders.  

“Regions are playing a much bigger role because they represent the point where the needs of ecosystems and the needs of territories converge”, explained Petr Dolejsi. “That is why cooperating with them is such a focus, and why we will try to extend this cooperation even further.  

The regional perspective was brought by Hortense Lutz-Hermellin, head of office of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region in Brussels, one of the first regions to be involved in Automotive Skills Alliance.  

This French region had already initiated programmes to promote re- and upskilling in its territory and took part in the Alliance in order to share practices and information with other stakeholders. After one year, Lutz-Hermellin claimed, expectations were not only confirmed, but were surpassed, especially when it came to the possibility of sharing information directly with the industrial world. 

The webinar continued with contributions by the representatives from European institutions and partnerships formed in other ecosystems. The session was closed by the intervention of Thomas Wobben, Director of Legislative Works at CoR, who highlighted how skills are playing a crucial role in the transition, and Konstantin Pashev, Head of Unit Skills, Services, Professions at DG GROW, who announced that from next year the Commission is committed in help regions and cities not just to join the Pact for Skills, but also to find the best way to benefit from it. 

Do you want to know more about how the automotive industry is working to facilitate the green and digital transition? Join the Automotive Skills Alliance to know more!

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