On 17 October, the Goethe-Institut Brussels and StartNet Europe organised an online conference on the Future Challenges of the European Labour Market and Vocational Education and Training as part of the Erasmus+ project Parcours for the Future.

The conference presented the main findings on the labour market in the next 10 years, the digital and green transition and the perspective of young people in Germany, Italy, North Macedonia, Romania (partner countries) and at European level. The invited experts talked about future skills: green skills and environmental protection, digital skills, gender awareness and civic education. They shared data and experiences and challenged the audience to act in this time of opportunity and need for education and civic engagement.

Alice Barbieri from ALFA Liguria (Italy) gave food for thought on gender and explained that a fundamental step towards gender equality is to address gender stereotypes in relation to professions and competences (e.g. leadership skills) at school, in the family and in companies.

Joanna Napierala from Cedefop provided recent data on digitalisation in Europe and argued that, given the rapidly evolving technological progress, there is an increasing need for digital skills, not only in the IT sector, but also in professional fields such as education, administration, healthcare, social work and many others. The full CEDEFOP study can be found here.

Ummuhan Bardak from the European Training Foundation outlined the seven global trends for the future of jobs and work, the consequences of the societal challenges of the third millennium and how to overcome them: Developing training paradigms and improving the quality of skills taught. One clear recommendation was to incorporate sustainability skills and soft skills into education at a very early stage, for example in elementary school.

The expert panel was concluded by Magdalena Lipovac, The Civics Innovation Hub, Znanje Na Djelu/Wissen am Werk (Croatia), who highlighted the connection between conscious career choices and civic engagement, a concept that also includes media literacy, digital security, leadership and the idea of sustainability in people's everyday choices.

The audience participated in an online survey on labour market trends in their country and discussed with experts what should be improved in the education and guidance of young people to prepare them for the future labour market.

Watch the conference on Youtube.

Follow the next results of the project: We will soon publish country presentations on labour market trends, green and digital skills as well as background papers.

All presented materials are available in the "Attachment" section (see below).