The 2022 PES Network Stakeholder Conference on labour and skills shortages in Europe highlighted the urgent need for Public Employment Services (PES) and their partners to jointly anticipate evolving labour and skills needs in order to meet the needs of jobseekers and employers.
The 2022 PES Network Stakeholder Conference: Jointly addressing labour and skills shortages, brought together around 400 participants from over 30 countries during 1.5 days, 7-8 April, to discuss how to address labour and skills shortages and prepare for the future European labour market.
“In order to address labour market challenges, we need coordinated actions with concrete outcomes: from the Commission, the Member States, Public Employment Services, education and training providers… – all the labour market actors. We also need to ensure that European citizens can effectively enjoy their rights – such as the free movement of workers and the principle of fair mobility,” highlighted Jordi Curell, Director for Labour Mobility and International Affairs, European Commission.
Meanwhile, PES Network Chair Johannes Kopf observed that: “Labour markets are changing incredibly fast… The twin transitions of green and digital are not any more future topics – labour and skills needs are already there today, all across our economy. We cannot afford as Public Employment Services to just wait and see how labour markets will develop…. It is absolutely essential to monitor developments on the ground… and reinforce our cooperation.”
At the same time, the conference noted that PES and their partners are also having to deal with the ‘twin crises’ of Covid and the mass displacement of people resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“The good news is that all of us are focused on trying to not just catch up, but to get ahead… building resilience,” concluded Johannes Kopf, highlighting the need for PES to work together with partners to help businesses find the workers they need and meet the potential and aspirations of Europe’s workers.
Participants at the 2022 Stakeholder Conference included representatives of PES, social partners, local authorities, private employment services, businesses, education and training providers, academics, the European commission and other international organisations. They discussed issues including how to improve the attractiveness of certain sectors, how to build labour market resilience, how to promote social and fair employment, and how to manage smooth career transitions.
The PES Network will publish a conference paper on the topic of labour and skills shortages later this year. In the meantime, you can find session recordings from the Conference or watch the introductory PES Network video on labour and skills shortages in Europe.