March 4. 2024. 8:49

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Europe’s quest for skills


As Europe grapples with both skills and labour shortages, EU institutions and national governments are trying to find ways to fill the gaps in Europe’s labour market. This EURACTIV Special Report looks at Europe’s challenges in training, attracting and retaining the workers it needs.

As the EU Commission put it in its recent proposal for a Green Deal Industrial Plan to boost the EU’s competitiveness, “demand for talent is acute.” If the EU wants to complete its transition to a net-zero industry, it will need an enormous number of skilled workers it is currently lacking.

However, shortages are not only affecting sectors critical to the green transition, like transport and clean energy production. Europe also suffers from an acute lack of healthcare workers and teachers, affecting some countries more than others.

To fill some of the gaps in the European labour market, EU countries have recently started to open their doors to third-country nationals, facilitating visa applications. The EU is also working on making the Union more attractive to skilled workers outside the Union and is expected to present a proposal on the recognition of qualifications of third-country nationals later this year.

Meanwhile, internal labour mobility is also increasing, and Europeans often face the need to have their qualifications recognised in other EU countries. For some, such as teaching professionals, recognition procedures can turn out to be a challenging process.

  • Teachers face bureaucracy, extra training when relocating within EU

    News | Economy 20-02-2023

    Education professionals face considerable bureaucratic hurdles and mandatory additional training to get their domestic qualifications recognised if they want to work in another member state, barriers that are worsening the EU’s skills shortage.