News from CEDEFOP, what it means for VET in Europe?

A global pandemic, growing inflation, wars, and a predicted economic downturn all disrupt the ways we think about skills and our work.

During the pandemic, we realized how crucial digital skills are when enterprises were forced into a total transition. People with digital hard skills and skilled workers with a flexible mindset were able to stand out from the crowd and steer the wheel, among the rising waves.

With our economic pillars being shaken by current events millions of young workers face uncertainty, where keeping a job can depend on crucial soft skills being available for these employees.

What is the CEDEFOP?

CEDEFOP stands for: “European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training” and is an agency of the European Union.

Cedefop is providing analyses and expertise to assist VET and VET aspects of lifelong learning.

The agency contributes to

  • the concept,
  • design
  • support

regarding the implementation of common European tools, such as the European qualifications framework, the European credit system in VET, the European quality assurance reference framework, the Skills Panorama, and Europass. With these tools, they support mobility for learning both within national systems and across borders.

The newest research - Europe’s GreenDeal

Researching the GreenDeal, the agency concludes that around 2.5 million new job openings by 2030 will be established due to the deal coming to full effect.

These new jobs will fall into the 4 large categories defined by CEDEFOP’s research:

  • Smart/green cities
  • Circular economy
  • Waste management
  • Agri-food

Interestingly, one of the main challenges CEDEFOP identified is green marketing. Companies in waste management are especially hindered by the negative public image of their profile, with many considering these jobs as “dirty”.

The new marketers need to be prepared to not only advertise their products and services clearly but also to work together with HR in order to advertise job openings clearly. This is especially important because many of these jobs are highly-paid openings, and companies have a high demand for them.

Also important to keep in mind from the perspective of young people and training organizations, that these four categories can be great equalizers for newcomers or people with fewer opportunities. Building crucial skills in the present that will pay out in the long-term could make large differences for people possessing the right skills.

All four categories have high demand not only for highly specialized, engineers, but also for manual, skilled workers who can help at each step of innovation

What VET project to start in the face of this new research?

Our recommendation is to “think outside the box”. Many companies don’t even realize that could have a major impact on one of these companies. From telco companies to manufacturers, and retailers everyone can participate in building Smart Cities, help logistic chains turn into circular economies, manage waste more efficiently and use byproducts or better systems from other engineering fields in the Agri-food industry.

With cities growing, and the population predicted to reach 9 billion souls by 2030, these categories should be everyday aspects of each and every business from FinTech to Beverage companies.

Calling for the largest cooperation project of our lifetime, companies can look ahead, get inspired by this horizon and adapt VET projects that help young people and future companies prepare for the changes, by teaching crucial skills in the present, that serve the future.