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Skills for Europe’s future: Anticipating occupational skill needs

The future development of skills – both skill needs and supply – on European labour markets ranks high on the current policy agenda. The year 2008 was particularly marked with an increased political awareness of anticipation of skill needs by various recent policy documents calling for assessment of future skill requirements at both national and European levels. Cedefop, with support of its expert network Skillsnet, has been proactive in this respect and delivered, at the beginning of 2008, a first pan-European forecast of occupational skill needs up to 2015 for EU-25, Norway and Switzerland. The results were presented for the first time at Cedefop’s Agora conference ‘Skills for Europe’s future’ organised on 21-22 February 2008 in Thessaloniki. Other objectives of the conference were to discuss the findings and future network plans with policy-makers, social partners, practitioners and all other relevant stakeholders. It also aimed to disseminate other information on future skill needs collected and shared among experts and researchers in Cedefop’s network Skillsnet; these are summarised in the proceedings.