ERT’s reskilling initiative moves up a gear with R4E website launch

Overall R4E 17 February 2022

BRUSSELS, 17 February 2022: The new year has kicked off in earnest for the Reskilling for Employment initiative (R4E) with the launch of a dedicated website. R4E is now up and running in Portugal, Spain and Sweden with national websites connecting workers with opportunities to acquire new skills and change career path.

Paulo Azevedo, Chair of the ERT Committee on Jobs, Skills & Impact and Chairman of Sonae said:

We are delighted to announce the formal launch of the R4E website. The objective of R4E is simple – to help people reskill towards more in-demand jobs, thereby improving their lives. With this goal in mind, the R4E websites are at the centre of our collaborative, end-to-end approach to tackling the urgent need for reskilling in Europe.

Paulo Azevedo

Chair of the ERT Committee on Jobs, Skills & Impact and Chairman of Sonae

He added:

This is where unemployed and at-risk workers can identify training and future employment, in their home country. It is also where companies, training partners and public agencies can find out more about the urgency of this initiative and how to get involved.

Paulo Azevedo

Chair of the ERT Committee on Jobs, Skills & Impact and Chairman of Sonae

Announced at the Porto Social Summit in May 2021, the pan-European training initiative called Reskilling 4 Employment (R4E) has been developed to facilitate the creation of reskilling partnerships with the goal of connecting reskilling providers, employers and jobseekers. In doing so, its objective is to address the skills gaps in emerging sectors at a time when the job landscape in Europe is undergoing significant change.

Helping others to thrive beyond 2025

McKinsey & Company, a key knowledge partner in the R4E initiative, estimates approximately 20 million people will require reskilling for new occupations as their current jobs disappear due to automation and as new types of jobs emerge in the years ahead. The R4E initiative ultimately seeks to reskill and secure new employment for up to 5 million people – between now and 2030.

Carl-Henric Svanberg, ERT Chair and Chairman of Volvo Group said

The green and digital transitions are already underway – accelerated by the pandemic. The demand for new skills will continue to intensify in the years to come and one of the distinguishing features of European companies is their ability to help their workforces adapt to new technologies. But the clock is ticking. Given the speed and depth of the change currently happening, R4E is a timely initiative to empower the all-important aspects of human capital and social inclusion in Europe’s recovery. It’s integral to the EU’s future competitiveness that we move the needle on reskilling – and quickly. We look forward to expanding this programme to more countries soon.

Carl-Henric Svanberg

ERT Chair and Chairman of Volvo Group

How it works: An end-to-end model, based on 4 enablers

The initiative offers an adult training ecosystem in which candidates are made aware of training and job opportunities and embrace the need to change occupation. Subsequently, they are trained, placed and mentored into a future-proof job.
This journey requires targeted training programmes, guidance to candidates along the journey, and well-connected local employment ecosystems where training providers and employers can quickly match candidates with vacancies. R4E as a tool to facilitate the creation of reskilling partnerships and encourage reskilling providers, employers, etc to visit the website and reach out.

R4E works in harmony with efforts by companies, public agencies, unions, business associations and training providers. It is not a one-size-fits-all approach but design and implementation are tailored to the specific needs and contexts of the different countries.

The initiative is based on an end-to-end model and provides support through four critical enablers:

  1. tech-enablement for reskilling, including common platform and matching recommendations powered by artificial intelligence;
  2. a network of selected high-quality reskilling providers and hiring employers;
  3. the creation of city-level employment ecosystems to facilitate matching;
  4. support in designing funding schemes that align incentives for providers, employers and candidates.

Piloting in 3 countries

R4E pilot projects have been launched in 3 EU Member States: Portugal, Spain and Sweden, working with companies led by ERT Members in tandem with local public and private entities. The R4E website being launched today comprises 3 national microsites, each one dedicated to one of the countries where R4E is active, complete with translations into the national language.

The companies championing the programme in this first wave include AstraZeneca, Iberdrola, Nestlé, SAP, Sonae, Telefónica and Volvo Group.

Together, they are implementing a set of initiatives with the potential to scale and enhance the national reskilling ecosystem and/or develop assets that can be transferred across countries.

Christian Klein, CEO of SAP and Chair of ERT’s Committee on Digital Transformation said:

Now more than ever, it’s crucial that upskilling and reskilling opportunities are readily available to help people and organizations continue to innovate and grow. SAP is very proud to support the R4E initiative to tackle the reskilling challenge in the digital age and support people across Europe as they develop their skills and employment opportunities.

Christian Klein

CEO of SAP and Chair of ERT’s Committee on Digital Transformation

Ignacio Galán, Chairman and CEO of Iberdrola said:

We need to move from a world still heavily dependent on fossil fuels to net zero emissions in less than 30 years. The next decade will be decisive to succeed. This requires Innovation and Talent, two core values for our company. Just over the next two years, Iberdrola will train 15,000 people through our green jobs reskilling programs, creating high-quality careers to deliver a cleaner and smarter energy system. We invite organizations and companies to join this initiative and contribute to deliver the transformation that will improve efficiency, create jobs and, ultimately, make this planet a better place to live in.

Ignacio Galán

Chairman and CEO of Iberdrola

Building on this momentum, R4E is already preparing to launch in other EU Member States and engage with more employers, reskilling providers, innovative start-ups and placement agencies. R4E invites more organisations to join the initiative.

Paulo Azevedo concluded:

There is no shortage of individuals, companies and organisations that see the tide of change under way in the labour market and wonder how to equip themselves for it. R4E is now up and running – and it’s a platform built to make reskilling partnerships easier to set-up & promote and its ultimately there to help people. We encourage reskilling providers, employers and jobseekers to visit the website, explore and reach out.

Paulo Azevedo

Chair of the ERT Committee on Jobs, Skills & Impact and Chairman of Sonae

The R4E website is at: Watch the video here.


Note to Editors:

A full list of the membership of ERT is accessible here.

Robert O’Meara, Communications Director, ERT
Tel + 32 2 543 10 51 – E-mail: – Twitter: @ert_eu

About the European Round Table for Industry (ERT)

The European Round Table for Industry (ERT) is a forum that brings together around 60 Chief Executives and Chairs of leading multinational companies of European parentage, covering a wide range of industrial and technological sectors. ERT strives for a strong, open and competitive Europe, with the EU and its Single Market as a driver for inclusive growth and sustainable prosperity. Companies of ERT Members have combined revenues exceeding €2 trillion, providing direct jobs to around 5 million people worldwide – of which half are in Europe – and sustaining millions of indirect jobs. They invest more than €60 billion annually in R&D, largely in Europe.

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