Today shortages of vocational skills have become a serious problem in many economic sectors. Consequently, Europe has to better match demand for and supply of skills.
The Europe 2020 Strategy has set an ambitious target of a 75% employment rate to be achieved by 2020. In this context, the Bruges Communiqué calls for vocational and educational training (VET) to better respond to labour market needs. This requires improved understanding of emerging and evolving sectors and their skills needs as well as better mechanisms to translate this understanding into corresponding training provision.
The Commission's proposal for a future programme "Erasmus for All" foresees a new category of transnational partnership called Sector Skills Alliances (SSA) to promote cooperation between three categories of partners: the world of education and training (VET providers); sector-specific expertise (including social partners, sectoral federations, Chambers etc.); and bodies involved in education and training systems (public or private bodies or authorities).
Drawing on evidence of skills needs and trends, SSA will work to design and deliver joint curricula and methods which provide learners with the skills required by the labour market. The overall goal is systemic impact on training in the economic sectors concerned in order to increase their competitiveness.
The current call for proposals provides and direct support for testing Sector Skills Alliances to draw lessons for future implementation.