Why R4E

Learn more about the reskilling challenge in Europe

Europe is already facing challenges due to the existing skills gap

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jobs in the EU 27 + UK are currently unfilled EUROSTAT, Job vacancy rate, JVS_Q_NACE2; ONS, Vacancies and jobs in the UK: October 2021.

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​​of EU businesses find it difficult to recruit ICT specialists ”Enterprises that recruited or tried to recruit ICT specialist”, ISOC_SKE_ITRCRN2 dataset, 2020.

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​Europeans are unemployed for over 6 months and looking for a job EUROSTAT, Unemployment rate by duration, LFSQ-UGAD dataset, Q2 2021, ONS, Labour market overview, UK: October 2021.

By 2030, Europe will need
a large-scale reskilling
of its workforce due
to automation and digitalisation

COVID has further accelerated adoption of automation and digitalisation and led to changes in labour demand across sectors

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workers displaced by automation and digitalizaton by 2030 McKinsey Global Institute, The future of work in Europe – Automation, workforce transitions, and the shifting geography of employment, June 2020.

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additional ICT specialists needed in the EU to reach 2030 digital targets EU Commission, Europe’s Digital Decade: Commission sets the course towards a digitally empowered Europe by 2030, Mar 2021.

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new green jobs could be created in the EU over the next few years EY, Perspectives on a European green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, Apr 2021.

Providing quality reskilling at scale
is a very complex challenge

Reskilling adults to new occupations is more complex than upskilling and requires a different approach

Comprehensive reskilling depends on contributions from multiple stakeholders

The existing reskilling ecosystem is not designed to provide the comprehensive reskilling programmes demanded by current market needs

Current reskilling ecosystems are typically hindered by four key challenges

Focus on trainings instead of placements

Limited focus on employability, with most providers covering training activities only

Programmes are often too long for adults

Existing reskilling programmes are often too long (1-2 years) as they are not tailored to a specific occupation, but rather a range of occupations

​Sub-scale programmes

Programmes are either ad-hoc for one employer or one-off need, or led by small NGOs or providers lacking the funds and the ability to mobilise the employment ecosystems to achieve scale

Cumbersome candidate journey

Multiple stakeholders are typically involved in the provision of activities along the reskilling value chain, making the comprehensive reskilling journey onerous for candidates

Not addressing the reskilling challenge will have multiple negative effects for Europe in the future

Rising unemployment and inequality

Lower international competitiveness of EU companies

Lower social cohesion and more social unrest

Delayed green and digital transitions

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