Pact for skills: EBC Vice President meets with Commissioners Breton and Schmitt

On 27 November, EBC Vice-President Philip van Nieuwenhuizen and other construction stakeholders participated to a meeting with Commissioner Thierry Breton – Commissioner for the Internal Market – and Commissioner Nicolas Schmitt – Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights – to exchange on the involvement of the sector in the skills’ field.

In particular, attention was focused on the “Pact for Skills”, a shared engagement model launched by the European Commission for skills development in Europe. The Pact is the first of the flagship actions under the European Skills Agenda, with the aim of promoting joint actions to maximise the impact of investing in improving existing skills (upskilling) and training in new skills (reskilling). It calls on industry, employers, social partners, chambers of commerce, public authorities, education and training providers and employment agencies to work together and make a clear commitment to invest in training for all working age people across the Union.

Representatives pointed out that the construction sector is characterised by a number of challenges which make the question of education and training both crucial and complex to solve.

For this reason, sectors’ representatives are already very much involved in this field:  

  • supporting respective national affiliates in exchanging information and good practices amongst them;
  • shaping policies in the field of vocational training, youth and skills;
  • promoting a collaborative approach between the social partners and the national training and educational bodies;
  • take part in various EU-funded projects, with a focus on the green and digital transitions, which require developing new skills.

Finally, construction representatives pointed out that the Construction sector is willing to make as part of the Pact for Skills, provided that more discussions will be organised with the Commission to see how the EU can partner and contribute to achieve these commitments.