The European Commission has declared 2023 the European Year of Skills.

The European Commission has declared 2023 the European Year of Skills. This choice is prompted by the ongoing digital and climate changes and the importance of reskilling and upskilling to adapt professionally to these transformations. Unions and workers’ organisations have been claiming for a long time that investing in training and building and fostering skills use is fundamental for sustained business performance.

And yet, training people is not enough. Basing on the results of the European Company Survey 2019, Cedefop (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training) and Eurofound jointly published the report Fostering skills use for sustained business performance: Evidence from the European Company Survey. The report, written by Giovanni Russo, Gijs van Houten and Michele Consolini, aims to show that organisations need to put in place policies to make the best use of the skills of their employees.

The study points out that:

  • Policy efforts aimed at increasing the skills base of the labor force must go together with policies that specifically target the practical application of skills.
  • The 2023 European Year of Skills is an important opportunity to focus on policies aimed at stimulating skills use within organisations and not just policies aimed at reinforcing the skills base in the labour force.
  • Creating a motivating workplace for employees is key, as is the role of management in this context. Managers can create the right conditions for employees to make use of their skills.
  • People-centred managerial approaches that harness workplace well-being are key to making the best use of human capital. Policymakers and social partners have an essential role to play in encouraging managers to adopt such approaches.
  • Future-oriented policies are essential to ensuring that managers understand the importance of a people-centred management culture. Universities and management and business schools should integrate such practices into their teachings.

The full report is available here.