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European Sector Skills Councils

As stated in the EU's Agenda for New Skills and Jobs, the Commission supports the setting up of European Sector Skills Councils designed to anticipate the need for skills in specific sectors more effectively and achieve a better match between skills and labour market needs. These councils aim mainly to:

  • provide more and better information about the skills situation in different sectors.
  • help develop skills governance in each sector and national skills policies by encouraging:
    • national organisations to cater more effectively to the needs of the various sectors
    • organisations active in the same field to learn from each other
    • all organisations concerned to share information and experience.

What will European sector skills councils do?

Their activities will include:

  • drafting reports on the employment situation in particular sectors and developments in the area of skills, and making policy recommendations
  • building cooperation among organisations that monitor skills developments and helping them to operate more effectively in the countries concerned
  • taking new action based on the skills information compiled, including creating and disseminating practical tools and setting up skills projects.

Key players

The European skills councils will be set up where there is a demand for them from organisations representing:

  • labour demand/employment services – employers’ organisations (particularly those representing small and medium-sized businesses), employment services, research institutes or technological platforms
  • labour supply:
    • trade unions
    • organisations providing education, training and guidance (institutions developing initial, in-service and on-the-job vocational education and training and/or tertiary education, authorities responsible for determining qualifications, organisations involved in recognising and accrediting sectoral skills or occupational profiles, research institutes).

EU financial support

In their first few years, European sector skills councils benefit from grants from the EU budget (EaSI Programme).

Most recent call for proposals: VP/2014/012 EaSI - PROGRESS: European Sector Skills Councils

For further ways of funding sectoral skills initiatives through sector skills alliances and knowledge alliances, see the Erasmus+ programme.

Existing European skills councils

Councils have already been set up in 2 sectors:

So far, 14 sectors have benefited from Commission funding for feasibility studies on setting up European skills councils: