30/11/18 Closing the Skills Gap in Europe’s Electronics Manufacturing: How to prepare the Workforce of Tomorrow (IPC Impact Europe event)

At this event there were 3 main speakers: Kasia Jurczak, Member of the Cabinet of Commissioner Marianne Thyssen; Jean-Hugues Rodriguez, Competence & Workforce Planning Manager, HDC, Airbus; and John Mitchell, IPC President and CEO.

Kasia Jurczak
In her speech she talked about 2 different trends regarding the skills gap:

  • The increasingly digitalized society and economy, paired with the aging society which creates challenges in regards to digital skills. The main challenge here is how to prepare people for the transition into the digitalized economy.

  • The evolution of education and labour. The main question here is how is the market trying to adapt to these trends. The education and labour markets are much slower to react. This is why there is a need for a deeper dialogue between institutions, training institutes, teachers and trainers. But what is the policy response to the skills gap, especially since education is a competence of Member States?

The Commission assists Member States in developing skills for the new workforce. There are several countries that are already doing something on this matter, such as France which has a political mandate to work on skills, investing greatly on preparing the workforce of tomorrow.

There is also a need to stir Member States towards working on the skills intelligence, looking at the labour market needs and developing skills that could solve the gaps in the different industries. In this scenario CEDEFOP has developed a pilot project to study job vacancies online and identify the skills needed to develop the different jobs in order to encourage Members States to train their professionals on those specific skills.

And however, while professional skills are important, we also need to bear in mind that other skills and the development of different mindsets and transferrable skillsets are crucial in a dynamic society. 

Kasia Jurczak also mentioned the New Skills Agenda for Europe, saying that after two years from the adoption the skills challenge remains valid, and the new Commission will need to do something in order to promote skills learning, upskilling and reskilling.
Jean-Hugues Rodriguez
According to the World Economic Forum forecast, in 2022 42% of the jobs will be destroyed and automated. We should see this as a challenge, but also as an opportunity to develop new skills and jobs.

One of the things Airbus is committed with is to provide means for all employees to be autonomous in their learning path, through digital learning.
John Mitchell
According to a McKinsey study, nowadays 2/3 of all companies think the lack of skills within their workers is reducing their opportunity to grow. 

One of the main causes of this is the lack of knowledge and skills. In the European Union, approximately 40 million people are un- or underemployed. This is why we have to work towards matching people with the jobs available, by helping them develop the necessary skills.

Manufacturing is helping develop the future, but there is still a common understanding that we need to have a higher education in order to succeed.

How is the IPC helping bridge the skills gap?
Mostly through the IPC Foundation, which analyses the skills required to perform certain jobs, and also through partnerships with governments, training and academic institutions, non-profits and companies from the private sector.

You will find more information on the program of the event and on IPC here.