The Pact for Skills expands to 1,000 members as it marks its second anniversary

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This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.

Two years after its launch, the Pact for Skills celebrates an important milestone as its membership grows to 1,000 members, including large multinational companies, SMEs, local training providers, and chambers of commerce. The Pact is a central element of the European Skills Agenda.

This comes at a crucial time when skills development is more important than ever in the EU, to empower people to make the most of the green and digital transitions and the economic recovery, as well as to tackle labour shortages to support companies’ competitiveness and sustainable growth. This means that reskilling and upskilling must become a reality on the ground. 

Member States have endorsed and presented their contributions to meet the EU 2030 social target of ensuring that at least 60% of adults participate in training courses every year. This is also important to reach the employment rate target of at least 78% by 2030.

In this context, the Pact for Skills offers a unique platform of cooperation that brings together public and private organisations who commit to concrete training offers for workers across Europe, which so far has gathered pledges to help train 6 million people.

The Commission has proposed to make 2023 the European Year of Skills, giving a fresh impetus for investment in skills across the EU.

The Pact for Skills two years on

All stakeholders joining the Pact sign a Charter outlining principles on quality training, lifelong learning and inclusion. Since its launch on 10 November 2020, the Pact for Skills has mobilised:

  • 12 large-scale European skills partnerships in strategic industrial ecosystems and sectors. Together, these partnerships have committed to upskill and reskill close to 6 million peoplein the coming years, including:
    • Digital: one of the aims is to support women to take up digital jobs, having 20 million ICT specialists employed in the EU by 2030 as well as supporting the goal of having at least 80% of workers with basic digital skills in line with the EU Digital Decade targets.
    • Construction: at least 3 million workers (corresponding to one quarter of the workforce in the EU) will receive training within the next five years.
    • Tourism: 10% of the workforce, or about 1.3 million workers, will gain new skills by 2030, and 6.5 million workers (50% of the sector) will receive access to career guidance services and to dedicated support.
    • Offshore renewable energy: attracting up to 54,000 new workers, in particular young people and women, in the first five years by focusing on providing skills training. People in managerial positions will also benefit from digital lifelong learning.
    • Aerospace and defence: 200,000 people currently in the workforce will receive training each year and 300,000 people will be trained to join the sector. This corresponds to a public and private investment of €1 billion over the next ten years.
  • 1,000 individual members. They range from large multinational companies to SMEs, local training providers, chambers of commerce, regional authorities and employer and trade union representatives covering all Member States and many European regions. Examples of commitments by individual members include:
    • The European Welding Federation, will train 100,000 workers in 3D-printing by 2030.
    • Software company SAP will organise courses for 200,000 EU learners over two years.
    • The University of Thessaly will develop 40 training courses and train 700 professionals.
    • The Screen Skills Committee Sweden, representing the Swedish film and TV industry, developed a four-step validation method for students to help   match their qualifications with entry positions of film workers.


The Pact for Skills, launched on 10 November 2020, brings together companies, workers, local authorities, social partners, training providers and employment services to identify what skills are needed and to make commitments to reskill workers, preferably by pooling efforts in a partnership, addressing the needs of the labour, supporting green and digital transitions as well as local, regional growth strategies.

To date, 1,000 organisations have joined the Pact for Skills and 12 large-scale partnerships have pledged to help upskill 6 million people. The 1,000th member will officially join the Pact during a special session on the Pact for Skills at the European Employment & Social Rights Forum on 16 November.

The Pact for Skills is one of the flagship actions under the European Skills Agenda, adopted in July 2020. Looking ahead, the Commission will further develop the Pact for Skills, including its regional dimension, in particular through the promotion and establishment of regional skills partnerships, to advance effective skills action on the ground.

By joining the Pact, stakeholders gain access to networking and knowledge and resource hubs. The Commission also offers information and guidance on EU funding and programmes for skills development. In addition to the funding available under REACT-EU, the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) and other relevant programmes of the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework, up- and reskilling is one of the flagship investment priorities of the Recovery and Resilience Facility.

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