Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Blueprint for sectoral cooperation on skills

The Blueprint for sectoral cooperation on skills was first introduced by the Skills Agenda for Europe 2016. Since then the Commission has selected 28 projects under the Erasmus+ programme that are implementing the Blueprint. They build on previous work by the European Commission and sectoral partners to address sector skills mismatches, in particular the European sector skills alliances .

The European Skills Agenda 2020 has confirmed the Blueprint as a key initiative to create new strategic approaches and cooperation for concrete skills development solutions in the industrial ecosystems as introduced by the updated EU industrial policy.

Under the new Erasmus+ programme (2021 – 2027) a new action, the Alliances for Innovation  - Lot 2: Alliances for sectoral cooperation on skills, is now the tool to implement the Blueprint.

The purpose of the Blueprint is to:

  • Gather skills intelligence and feed this into CEDEFOP’s Skills Intelligence  tool.
  • Develop a sector skills strategy
  • Design concrete education & training solutions for quick take-up at regional and local level, and for new occupations that are emerging
  • Set up a long term action plan
  • Make use of EU tools e.g. EQF, ESCO, Europass, EQAVET
  • Address skills shortages and unemployment

Blueprint Alliances gather key stakeholders from industrial ecosystems. These stakeholders can include for example:

  • business
  • trade unions
  • research institutions
  • education and training institutions
  • public authorities

The Commission selects Blueprint Alliances through the annual Erasmus+ call for proposals and supports their work with grants. Winning proposals are selected on the basis of the eligibility, award, exclusion and selection criteria (see current Erasmus+ Programme Guide).

Each Alliance will develop a sectoral skills strategy to support the overall growth strategy for the industrial ecosystem and skills needs.

Partners in Blueprint Alliances will look into how the digital and green transitions are likely to affect jobs and skills needs.

Partners will then identify priorities and milestones for action and develop concrete solutions, such as creating and updating curricula and qualifications based on changing or new occupational profiles.

The deliverables of Alliances for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills, i.e. sectoral skills intelligence, skills strategies, occupational profiles, training programmes, and long-term planning, will be an important contribution to the work of the sectoral partnerships that have joined the Pact for Skills.

Roll-out at national and regional level

Following an implementation plan, which the partnership has to develop, the results of Blueprint Alliances will be rolled out at national and regional level, for example through large-scale skills partnerships under the Pact for Skills.

There will also be synergies with other policy frameworks and initiatives, such as regional smart specialisation strategies, industrial clusters, Centres of Vocational Excellence or Knowledge & Innovation Communities (KICs) of the European Institute of Technology (EIT).

Other EU funding for skills development

The European Union is in the budget cycle 2021-2027. In setting its priorities, the EU has ring-fenced billions of euros for skills - in the ESF+, Erasmus+, Digital Europe and InvestEU.

In addition, the new Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) prioritises skills investment, as part of the Recovery Plan for Europe.

Upskilling and reskilling is one of the seven priority spending areas of the RRF. The Commission has strongly encouraged Member States to focus this money on investment in skills.

Find here an online database and search tool for funding opportunities

Blueprint alliances

The first five blueprint alliances began their work in January 2018:

Four additional blueprint alliances started their activities in January 2019:

Six more blueprint alliances started their activities at the end of 2019 or beginning of 2020:

 Six more blueprint alliances started their activities at the end of 2020 or beginning of 2021:

Following the first call for proposals under the new Erasmus+ programme 2021-2027 seven Alliances for sectoral cooperation on skills were selected in 2022 in the following ecosystems:

  • Social economy & proximity
  • Agri-food
  • Digital
  • Creative & cultural industries
  • Tourism
  • Renewable energy
  • Health

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