PES welcomes actions to tackle labour and skills shortages

European Commissioner Nicolas Schmit. Photo: European Union, 2024. Source: EC - Audiovisual Service

European Commissioner Nicolas Schmit. Photo: European Union, 2024. Source: EC - Audiovisual Service

The Party of European Socialists (PES) commends European Commissioner Nicolas Schmit for the action plan to tackle labour and skills shortages, to be activated by Member States and social partners.

The plan is a key action to improve working conditions, boost Europe’s competitiveness and enhance our economic and social resilience.

PES President Stefan Löfven said:

“Increased training, improved working conditions, and empowered social partners – this is how we address challenges in the labour market and ensure our societies profit from technological developments and the twin transitions. From industrial sectors like defence and sustainability, these actions will put Europe on the right path.

“As PES, we are pushing for a Roadmap for Quality Work and Well-paid Jobs to build on this momentum and ensure that work always pays.”

Presented under the European Year of Skills, and building on the Pact for Skills and other EU level action – which has so far provided training to 3.5 million workers – the measures announced today are part of a long socialist push for action to support jobs and skills. €65 billion in EU funds are available to invest in skills.

European Commissioner Nicolas Schmit and the PES family have led the way to the 2030 employment and skills targets endorsed at the Porto Social Summit, delivered the adequate minimum wages and platform work directives, and other actions to support skills. The new action plan will focus on: supporting the activation of underrepresented people in the labour market; providing support for skills development, training and education; improving working conditions in certain sectors; improving fair intra-EU mobility for workers and learners; and attracting talent from outside the EU.

Under this action plan, the Commission will support projects on zero long-term unemployment, facilitate jobs and training for young people, map skills needs, work towards better sick leave and pensions, and review approaches to psychosocial risk at work. Under the plan, Member States are invited to support the labour market with education and training to facilitate people returning to the labour market, help low-income workers, progress digitalisation in social security, and other areas. Social partners – a vital sector – will support the plan by strengthening collective bargaining, supporting underrepresented groups, supporting apprenticeships, training health and care workers, and supporting workers from third countries.