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New skills for new jobs

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New skills for new jobs

Europe is facing socio-economic changes which are affecting the structure of the labour market. By adopting a European perspective, Member States should improve their capacity to anticipate the changes and the skills needs of European citizens and employers.


Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 16 December 2008 – ‘New skills for New Jobs: Anticipating and matching labour market and skills needs’ [ COM(2008) 868 final - Not published in the Official Journal].


As part of the renewed Lisbon Strategy for growth and jobs, the Commission proposes an initiative aimed at improving workers' qualifications in accordance with the needs of European employers. It is based on a prospective analysis of labour market trends up to 2020.

There is great potential for the creation of jobs in Europe in the medium and long term, particularly replacement jobs due to the ageing population. In addition, the market for ecological services and products should bring new types of job.

Skills and qualification requirements will increase for all types and levels of occupation. Employers are looking in particular for transversal competencies such as communication skills or analytical and problem-solving skills.

The level of qualifications of the European workforce should meet the new needs of the labour market. This objective can be achieved by introducing active policies and by improving the effectiveness of education and training systems. The modernisation of labour markets also implies the implementation of the integrated strategies in the area of flexicurity.

The Commission encourages Member States to improve the assessment and anticipation of trends in the labour market and skills requirements. It proposes four strands of action:

  • the dissemination of information on the trends and new opportunities in the labour market, primarily by the setting up of a “European Labour Market Monitor” but also via the Commission’s employment, training and mobility services (EURES, PLOTEUS and EURAXESS);
  • the development of forecasting tools in order to produce accurate and regular data for each sector of activity. New joint methodologies should be developed via the PROGRESS programme and the Lifelong Learning Programme. Employers will be involved in anticipating needs and developing partnerships with a view to meeting those needs;
  • deepening international cooperation, developing policy dialogue and the exchange of experience;
  • mobilising the Community's political and financial instruments.


This initiative is part of the European Economic Recovery Plan adopted in December 2008. It should help to reduce the consequences of the financial crisis on the labour markets.

The Commission will present a first report on the results of this initiative in 2010.


Presidency Conclusions (pdf) of the Brussels Spring European Council on 13 and 14 March 2008 [Not published in the Official Journal].

Council Resolution (pdf) of 15 November 2007 on the new skills for new jobs [OJ C 290 of 4.12.2007].

Last updated: 12.02.2009