Skills & Talents for Europe

On Tuesday, 18 July 2023, the Confederation of German Employers' Associations (BDA), the Confederation of Danish Employers (DA) and the Polish Confederation Lewiatan organised an in-person high-level event in Brussels to mark the European Year of Skills.

In order to maintain Europe’s prosperity and attractiveness in the future, securing skilled workers must be a top priority. With selected EU stakeholders from politics, business and academia, we delved into the critical topic of securing a skilled workforce for the future – asking what a holistic skilled labour strategy could look like. In doing so, we looked at both the European workforce and the talent from abroad.

EU Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, set the scene with his keynote speech on the European Year of Skills. Followed by two insightful panels that shed light on the issue at hand and most importantly possible solutions – moderated by Sandra Parthie, Head of the German Economic Institute’s Brussels Office.

The first panel focused on the question of how we can secure a skilled European workforce, featuring:

  • Esther Lynch, General Secretary, ETUC
  • Maciej Witucki, President, Polish Confederation Lewiatan
  • Antonio Ranieri, Head of Department VET & Skills, Cedefop
  • Julie Kjestrup, Head of Policy and Thought Leadership, VELUX

The second panel focused on the question of how we can better attract talent from abroad, featuring:

  • Johannes Luchner, Deputy Director-General, DG HOME
  • Spiros Protopsaltis, First Vice-Chair, PES Network
  • Dr. Rainer Dulger, President, BDA German Employers
  • Damian Boeselager, MEP

Quote Dr. Rainer Dulger, President, BDA German Employers:

“It is our hope that through discussions as today’s, we can collectively work towards building a Europe that is equipped with the skills necessary to face the challenges of the present and future. A future that is characterised by a skilled workforce, sustainable growth, and shared prosperity.”