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Addressing the growing skills gap

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT) has released an agenda for action on industrial renaissance. The report highlights that un order to close the growing skills gap, education and training providers must partner more intensively with business.

Today there are 2 million vacancies for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) related jobs in the EU.

Promoting responsive education systems

According to the ERT, education and training are investments that will raise the productivity and increase the competitiveness of Europe and its Member States. The high rates of youth unemployment in nearly all Member States and the number of vacancies mostly in STEM highlight a growing skills gap and a failure of the education systems to prepare young people with the right skills to be employable.

Serious reforms are needed in today’s education system, to ensure that the skills being taught are pertinent for today’s employment. EU citizens also need to take on a more entrepreneurial attitude towards their choice of initial study, to their careers, and to further education and training. This can only be achieved through closer cooperation between education and training providers and business both in vocational training and higher education.

ERT recommendations

  • Member states should establish national STEM platforms to facilitate business education interactions at the regional level and to promote best practices.
  • National targets to increase the percentage of students studying STEM should be set and entrepreneurial education should be integrated in national curricula across the EU.
  • Member states should continue to support the rapid modernisation to work based vocational training, bringing education providers together with business and industry.
  • Member States should put in place targeted programmes to immediately boost the number of ICT knowledge workers and fill available jobs.

Adapted from a report by Emma McAleavey.

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