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"New skills for new jobs: China and the EU"

20/09/2010 China flag next to EU flag

This report presents the research findings from a joint China and EU project on New Skills for New Jobs in the context of the crisis and its impact on vulnerable groups.

Many sectors with existing structural problems have suffered severely from the economic crisis. Strategies have been put in place in China and the EU to support vulnerable groups to facilitate their reintegration into the labour market. As recovery kicks in, both China and the EU share a common interest in upskilling the workforce as a means to allow productivity growth and sustainable economic development.

In the long term, China and the EU both face challenges linked to climate change. In the proposed growth sectors, the movement towards a low carbon economy is expected to transform jobs and skills demand and introduce new skills and occupational profiles. The number of green jobs anticipated in China and the EU is significant, but the shortage of ‘green talent’ is a problem that needs to be addressed.

There are also similarities in the demographic challenges faced by China and the EU. In both cases the population is ageing, with ageing even more advanced in China than the EU.

Both China and the EU share a common aim to upskill the labour force and recognise that the majority of those that need upskilling are already in work. It is a challenging task to ensure that individuals have access to and actually take up training and that the relevant stakeholders understand the need to provide accessible training to existing workers. In China, skills development is seen as a necessity for productivity growth given the erosion of low cost labour.

Furthermore, there is huge regional / country difference in the economic setup and performance within China and the EU respectively, which requires flexible policy making according to the different regional and country situations.

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