The current economic crisis is increasing the speed of transformation in Europe and in the world.
In order to enhance strategic human resource management, and thereby improve European competitiveness in the global economy, the European Commission has pointed to the importance of developing better methods and tools to anticipate trends and changes in the European labour market. On this background, the Commission has carried out in depth studies of the 19 economic sectors in Europe, accounting for two thirds of European employment.
The sector studies reveals the increasing polarization of the demand for skills and competencies. At the one hand, the strive of European production to pursue an excellence strategy, in order to sustain competitiveness in an increasingly competitive world, drives a strong demand for high skilled professionals. At the other hand, the growth of service industries drives a steady demand for both high skilled and low skilled workers. At the same time off-shoring of production activities is lowering the number of skilled jobs in Europe. However, despite the level of skills and competencies, all economic sectors report a need for continuous up skilling of the labour force among others driven by internationalisation, specialisation, rising climate concerns, ICT and new technological possibilities. To deepen the challenges for Europe even further, most sectors also forecast a shrinking supply of labour available due to the ageing of the European labour force.
All in all, the transformation of Europe sums up to a tremendous task to be met jointly by the European stakeholders in order to sustain a socially fair, environmentally sustainable and competitive economy. Europe has managed economic crisis and major transformations before and Europe will do it again. The key is the new social agenda of Europe, enforcing a culture of life-long learning and sharing a common vision of a socially fair, sustainable and competitive Europe.