Project DRIVES has come to an end after four years of pioneering research on skills

On 24th March 2022, DRIVES held its final event presenting the results achieved during the four years of the project. The latter regarded the development of actions to satisfy the skills needed to support the strategy of the EU automotive sector.  

The keynote for this event was given by Julie Fionda, Deputy Head of Unit Skills Agenda in the European Commission. Regarding the European automotive industry, Ms Fionda said that “Success depends not only on sustained investment in the hardware, but also in the innovative genius of our engineers, technicians, scientists and designers. Skills and increasing opportunities to upskill and reskill throughout the career are a linchpin of any resilient industrial ecosystem. And moving from combustion engines to electric powertrains with batteries will require new skills and new types of jobs.”  

In what concerns DRIVES, Ms Fionda stressed that the project showed that the deliverables of a Blueprint alliance are an important contribution to the work of larger scale skills partnerships, such as the Automotive Skills Alliance. And she added that DRIVE’s outcomes will have a significant impact on how the automotive sector can move into the future, both by influencing the debate at the European level and by providing concrete solutions.  

Michael Flickendchild (Ecorys) presented the main aspects and conclusions of the study The future of the EU Automotive Sector, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE).  

Representatives of the project’s partners provided Information on the project’s major outputs and the path that lead to them. Christian Baio (Spin360, IT) presented the projects’ Sectoral Skills Intelligence and Strategy; Damjan Ekert (ISCN, AT) addressed the set of job roles that were defined by the project and the different types of related free online courses that were provided during the project. He also presented the DRIVES Learning Platform, where more that 2700 individuals from 54 countries enrolled to the developed online courses; Marek Spányk (VSB-TUO, CZ) presented the structure and main features DRIVES Framework Platform, a EU-database of training courses directed to the Automotive ecosystem. Mick Feloy (Enginuity, UK) addressed the apprenticeships perspective in the sector that led to the production of the Guide to Hiring an Apprentice, as well as apprenticeship good practice resource. To close the session, Utimia Madaleno (Eupportunity, PT) provided details on the project’s importance and visibility, and also on the challenges related to achieving the project’s goals. 

The second half of the event was dedicated to allow stakeholders presenting different ongoing initiatives. Zdeněk Karásek (Moravian-Silesian Region, CZ), Anni Sitanen (Kemianteollisuus ry, FI) and Isabel Soares Carneiro (Ambassadors4Skills&Jobs – IDESCOM, PT) offered examples of regional perspectives and approaches to the importance of project DRIVES at local level.  

Finally, DRIVES Coordinator Jakub Stolfa (VSB-TUO, CZ) presented the project’s challenges, lessons learned, as well as the way forward, namely through the Automotive Skills Alliance.

Further input on the way forward was given by Pilar Perez (CLEPA) and Marta Conti (ETRMA) underpinning the value of DRIVES legacy, the network that was built and the relevance to expand the use of results across the European value-chain.

The concluding remarks came from Petr Dolejsi (ACEA) the Chair of DRIVES Steering Board. Petr expressed the pride for having been part of this pioneer blueprint project while stressing the need to grow the network, adding more chapters to DRIVES’ inspiring and motivating endeavour.

The full online event is available here

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