(5 December 2012) The participants considered the project, report and progress.
- The conference and project were seen as positive;
- The report delivered as expected an overview of the bodies and organisations involved in skills and competencies and labour markets focused on the electricity sector. The authors and in particular Mrs. Maud Stepan of ConsultingEurope, were thanked for their work. The report will benefit from a section that indicates the limits of the research and hence its findings. Due to these limitations a concern remains over the solidity of the findings and commitments of organisations.
The participants then discussed with the representatives of ConsultingEurope and the Dutch O&O fund the aims and objectives of a future skill council for the sector and possible ways of continuing. It will be important to define the aims and objectives of a sector skill council together to ensure that these are shared between unions and employers as well as the participating national bodies. From the discussion it emerges there is common ground on:
- Platform for exchange of information and best practice (tools, methods…)
- Improving the Image of the sector as an attractive sector to work in. This will assist in creating the general conditions for recruitment and retention. This will be needed at various levels and start at an early age.
- Labour market research especially with regard to understanding availability or not of workers and that in relation to new technologies especially;
- Developing the training systems so as to ensure that they understand which skills need to be taught in schools and are in a position to react to demands from the sector as well as ensuring that workers acquire transversal skills improving their position;
- Develop skill and occupation profiles ensuring similar standards and recognition; for companies it will become important to know what a certain person with a particular occupation profile can do and be able to rely on this;
- Allow for transferability and recognition across borders;
- Accreditation of training providers;
- Be in a position to give credible signals that investment in training and particular technologies is important.
The participants also considered some of the learning instruments that can be developed and how these can play a role in improving the image of the sector. The main challenge of the EU sector skill council is to do things together that no company alone can address and solve.
It is also becoming very clear that the approach of the sector skill councils fits with the European Commission’s view of promoting flexible labour markets.
The unions and employers will give further consideration to the possibility to develop an EU Sector skill council and how they can advance the project. The final meeting of the project took place on 4 December 20120, Brussels. For EPSU the deputy general secretary participated.