Workplaces and VET schools and colleges are constantly challenged by changes in the way we learn and work. Mr Calleja noted: ‘Training providers, like employers, are threatened by the speed of innovation. For both sectors, speed is a more challenging factor than digitalisation, big data analytics, the internet of things and advanced robotics. These developments are visible and manageable. But the speed of change is not. The need for the sectors of education and employment to join forces is more critical than ever.’
The high-level meeting was addressed by the Vice President of the Republic of Bulgaria Iliana Iotova, the Deputy Minister for Labour and Social Policy Zornitsa Rusinova, the President-elect of EESC’s Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship Christa Schweng and the President of the EESC Employers’ Group Poland Jacek Krawczyk. Cedefop Governing Board members Barbara Dorn and Gerhard Riemer played an active role at the meeting.
In his presentation, Mr Calleja stressed that better personal lives and better working conditions lead to more productivity, more profit and happier employers. If there is a proliferation of employers this is added value to education and training and employment.
Recipe for success
Quoting statistical data from Cedefop’s European skills and jobs survey, he said that ‘preventing technological unemployment requires the right mix of digital and soft skills, better labour market intelligence and career guidance, upskilling and reskilling, particularly of low-skilled adults and the unemployed, and education that caters for personal and professional growth at the same time.’
The creation, transformation and replacement of jobs that Cedefop underlines in its briefing note on people, machines, robots and skills complements OECD’s prediction of 9% of jobs being displaced, 70% of tasks automated and 25% of jobs transformed in the near future. Mr Calleja argued that the way we teach must change: ‘A knowledge-based approach has been dominating our education system for over 200 years. We need new systems based on the acquisition of knowledge, skills and competence that will help young people and adults compete with machines and secure jobs that machines cannot perform.’