Developing the future in the heart of Europe

EZA Youth Platform seminar

32 young employee representatives from all over Europe took part in the seminar “Young people in the midst of the changing world of work: uncertainties – conditions – vision” from 1-5 November in Herzogenrath.

Numerous facets of the 4.0 job market were shown in a varied program under the collective title “Future Skills”. Animated discussions about the future of the trade unions, an adapted range of services offered and the challenges facing us demonstrated the importance of this topic, and how urgent measures should be implemented.

The first day of the seminar kicked off with the subject of future skills, and the European members then engaged in discussions and gave their perspectives on the topic. The positive and negative aspects of the 4.0 job market were illustrated in a range of creative ways. After exploring the theoretical aspect, on the second day the attendees embarked on an excursion into the practical future at the Aachen University of Applied Sciences and visited the makerspace the robot projects ALeRT and Carologostics in the MASCOR Institute, where the participants discovered which future skills were particularly relevant from a university perspective. (Links: https://maskor.fh-aachen.de/projects/ALeRT/   https://maskor.fh-aachen.de/about/  ) Participants were captivated by the appearance of Spot, the Robot Rescue League champion.

With many thrilling images fresh in the mind, the third day focused on using what the attendees had learned to create visions for the future: theatre-in-education approaches were taken to present and discuss numerous ideas about the future of the unions: what adjustments that would require a system of training and employee support could be implemented in their specific country? What form could demands take, that would also have a European basis, to maintain the focus on decent work for all in future human-machine interactions?

New international friendships were made, and many participants are already looking forward to the next seminars: the basis for good innovations and collaboration is face-to-face meetings and the sharing of common objectives. And every change begins with understanding and the ideas that grow from it. We're so excited about what’s coming next.

Sergio (an employee of the EZA Secretariat): I was amazed at how enthusiastic the young people were and how the debates were infused with so much creativity and ambition for the future. It's great to see a new generation of Europeans who are so enthusiastic about and committed to these issues.