Home Latest News Pact for Skills Forum ‘Unlocking the skills potential across Europe’

Pact for Skills Forum ‘Unlocking the skills potential across Europe’

by efn efn

Launched in November 2020, the Pact for Skills aims to mobilise and incentivise private and public stakeholders to take concrete commitments for the upskilling and reskilling of people of working age, and, when relevant, pool efforts in partnerships. And this is what has been discussed over the last two days in the first Pact for Skills Forum entitled “Unlocking skills potential across Europe”.

For Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, we need a skills revolution. We are in the midst of a technological revolution, led by climate change and AI, which requires a well-trained European workforce, as it can provide great improvements to healthcare delivery. The speed of this revolution leads to the need to change operational strategies at all levels very quickly, which is the biggest challenge (innovate or we are left behind). The European Commission is working towards creating a culture which promotes upskilling and reskilling in the digital and green skills at all levels, and stakeholders should work towards this, with the support of European funding. This should be directed primarily to youth and women. We must not ignore the current crisis, which requires policies fit for purpose and a well-trained European workforce ready to respond to the crisis (cf. Directive 2013/55/EU, Art 31).

Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for Internal Market, highlighted that we lack competitivity at EU level, and that is why we need a well-trained European workforce. The Pact for Skills is working to train 30 million workers by 2030, and this can be done only by engaging stakeholders. To help in this development, the European Commission has provided 65 billion EUR through different funds, to facilitate upskilling and reskilling to the European workers. There are great challenges to upskilling and reskilling generated by the immense transitions that our society is undergoing (digital, AI, Green). Thus, immense efforts should be put to not leave any worker behind.

As Manuela Geleng, European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, mentioned, a lot has been done in terms of digital upskilling of the European workforce, but a lot still remains to be done. We are only halfway and well-behind when it comes to women. We are not spending enough on R&D compared to countries like the US, and innovation is limited by a restricted well-trained workforce in the digital skills. The green transition is also being limited by the lack of digital skills. The fact that the European workforce is ageing quickly makes this even more needed.

The Pact for skills is the first of the flagship actions under the European Skills Agenda and is firmly anchored in the European Pillar of Social Rights. For nurses, it is crucial to tackle the needs and challenges to upskilling and reskilling, and to have a well-trained nursing workforce for the resilience of European healthcare systems.

As a way to contribute to this development, the EFN, as a partner in the EU project BeWell that aims to develop a green and digital skills strategy for the health ecosystem that can be implemented at a local, regional, national, and ultimately at the European level through the Pact for Skills, developed two training courses (MOOCs) for nurses and allied healthcare professionals on, that were presented in one of the World Café hub of the forum:

  • Digital Skills – aiming to provide an introduction to the EU policy context on the digitalisation healthcare system, what digitalisation encompasses, and delve deeper into digital health for nurses and what it represents for frontline healthcare professionals.
  • Green Skills – aiming to provide an introduction to the EU policy context of planetary health, what planetary health encompasses, and delve deeper into planetary health education and interdisciplinary collaboration. It offers practical ideas for integrating planetary health principles into daily nursing practice.

Upskilling and reskilling are essential points to be implemented and underline the importance of education and training for nurses’ students under graduate (Directive 2013/55/EU, Art 31); qualified nurses with appropriate skills to accelerate professionally and nurses being engaged in Artificial Intelligence (AI), especially in the delivery of nursing services for people with chronic diseases. It is important to implement knowledge, leadership and advocacy, information sharing and to adopt technologies that are problem-solving.