Under the blueprint, stakeholders work together in sector-specific partnerships, called alliances for sectoral cooperation for skills , which develop and implement strategies to address skills gaps in these sectors. These sector-specific partnerships gather key stakeholders, including:
- trade unions
- research institutions
- education and training institutions
- public authorities
The idea of skilling for a job is central to blueprint alliances. They will address skills shortages and unemployment by:
- gathering information for the European skills panorama
- developing a sector skills strategy
- developing occupational profiles, vocational programmes and qualifications
- designing a long term action plan to be rolled out at the national and regional levels
- promoting the use of EU tools such as
The blueprint builds on previous work by the European Commission and sectoral partners to address skills gaps in sectors, in particular the European sectoral skills councils and the Erasmus+ sector skills alliances.
The Blueprint for sectoral cooperation on skills was one of the key initiatives of the Skills agenda for Europe 2016 and within the Pact for Skills of the Updated Skills Agenda 2020 it will be expanded and opened to more sectors.
The blueprint in a nutshell leaflet gives a concise overview of the initiative.
Steps for the blueprint
1. Assess if a sector is ready for an EU-wide partnership on skills
In the first stage, the Commission assesses skills gaps in economic sectors and the potential impact of these gaps on growth, innovation and competitiveness. This is done with the help of data from CEDEFOP.
The Commission reviews the presence and maturity of the overall growth strategy for the sector, as well as the strategy’s relevance to EU priorities.
2. Implement European sectoral skills projects
The Commission selects sectoral skills alliances implementing the blueprint through a call for proposals and supports their work. Winning proposals are selected on the basis of the eligibility, award, exclusion and selection criteria.
Partnerships for a sector must represent all the key actors interested in the development of skills in the sector.
Each blueprint alliance will develop a sectoral skills strategy to support the overall growth strategy for the sector.
Partners will look into how major trends are likely to affect jobs and skills needs. These include global, societal, and technological developments as well as environmental factors. Partners will also look into the impact of these factors on growth, competitiveness and employment in the sector (e.g. restructuring, hard-to-fill vacancies).
Partners will then identify priorities and milestones for action and develop concrete solutions, such as creating and updating vocational curricula and qualifications based on changing or new occupational profiles.
3. Roll-out at national and regional level
Building on the achievements of the sectoral skills alliances at EU level, the ‘blueprint’ for the sector will be rolled out at national and regional level.
This will be done in cooperation with national and regional authorities, and key stakeholders. There will also be synergies with other policy frameworks, such as regional smart specialisation strategies.
Funding the blueprint
The funding for blueprint comes from a number of funding streams, including from Erasmus+. Calls for tenders are also being published regularly under the COSME programme.
The first five blueprint alliances began their work in January 2018:
- maritime technology
- space - geo information
- textile, clothing, leather and footwear
Four additional blueprint alliances started their activities in January 2019:
Six more blueprint alliances will become active at the end of 2019 or beginning of 2020:
- bioeconomy, new technologies and innovation in agriculture
- batteries for electro-mobility
- defence technologies
- energy value chain – digitalisation
- energy-intensive industries/industrial symbiosis
- microelectronic manufacturing & design
The next six sectors eligible for funding under Erasmus+ are:
- cultural heritage
- rail supply and transport industries
- work integration social enterprises
- software services