MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –
Source: Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs Digitization, ecological change and the COVID-19 pandemic are changing the labor market. This also changes the demands on each and every individual. On October 20, 2020 State Secretary Björn Böhning and the Director General of the Directorate General of the European Commission responsible for Employment Joost Korte discussed together with colleagues from different EU member states and almost 300 spectators from all over Europe. The question: How can self-determined employment biographies succeed in the changing world of work? At the start, Federal Minister Hubertus Heil welcomed the conference participants. The Federal Minister emphasized:
The crucial question for all of us in Europe is how we can ensure that today’s workers can do tomorrow’s work. The best answer to this question is: further training and qualification.
The pandemic only makes this need even clearer. Therefore, special care must be taken now that existing inequalities do not worsen further. For the Federal Minister it is therefore clear:
New approaches are needed, and I am sure that we can learn from each other by looking beyond the national horizon. The need … [for individual training] will continue to grow in the future. And the citizens of Europe rightly expect that politics, together with the social partners, will set the right course for this.
Identifying challenges – tomorrow’s work, the right offers and the right support In the debate with Björn Böhning, State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Germany Caroline Cohen, Vocational Education Advisor in the management team of Élisabeth Borne, Minister for Labor, Employment and Integration, France Joost Korte, Director General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Union Mateja Ribič, State Secretary in the Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Slovenia Roland Sauer, Section Head Labor Market, Federal Ministry of Labor, Family and Youth, Austria Daniël Waagmeester, Director Industrial Relations, Ministry of Social Affairs and work, the Netherlands focused on three major questions: On the one hand, employees need information about which skills are required in order to further their professional development. Industry-specific and AI-supported analyzes offer completely new opportunities and possibilities to show in which direction the labor market is developing. This can reduce some uncertainties as to which competencies are exactly future-oriented. Another challenge is access to offers. If you want to continue your education, you should find the right offer in a simple way – transparency about further education offers plays a decisive role. In order to realize professional further education wishes, it also takes time to learn, but also financial resources. This applies to both the costs of qualification and an adequate wage replacement. Björn Böhning also added:
It is a major challenge for European labor market policy to use further training opportunities to reach precisely those who have previously had poorer chances on the labor market.
Thinking outside the box: What we can learn from each other The good news: Most EU member states have already taken measures to address these challenges. The focus is on individual funding. Examples are programs that enable employees to take time off from work in order to take part in further vocational training (Austria); the provision of a budget for training (Netherlands); or a qualification app (France). The European Commission will also start an EU-wide initiative on individual learning accounts next year.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.