More than one in four (27%) European employees are in dead-end positions with skills higher than needed to do their job and limited potential to grow. At the same time, 22% of employees say that their skills have not developed since they started their current job. These are some of the findings of Cedefop’s European skills and jobs (ESJ) survey, discussed at a high-level conference in Thessaloniki on 7 and 8 December 2015. FECBOP was present as a representative of organizations providing career guidance across multiple sectors in 11 partner countries.

Several high-profile speakers were present during this conference: In his keynote speech, world-renowned Professor of Economics at Harvard University Richard Freeman talked about robots and the future of work: is technology destroying jobs and skills? World Bank’s Lead Education Economist Harry Patrinos, also a keynote speaker, provided international evidence on returns on education and skills.

The conference hopes to stimulate discussion and identify key policy priorities, challenges and applicable solutions to the skill mismatch problem, with particular emphasis on the role of public-private partnerships and of supportive public policies. Tomas Sprlak represented the experience of the Federation discussed the problem from the perspective of the individual: some characteristics of the people in the situation of skills mismatch (lack of knowledge about the labour market, about own skills, fear of change etc.) can contribute to maintaining them in the situation of „mismatch“. However, these can be reduced in career guidance. Bilan de compétences can help them find answers to the following questions:

  • “What is possible on the labour market / what are the opportunities in my environment?”
  • “What is possible for me? What knowledge, skills and competences can I use?”
  • “How can I initiate and manage change?”

More than 100 experts in skills and skill mismatch, along with representatives of governments, social partners, education and training, and the labour market engaged in a series of discussions. The objective of the conference is to provide a basis for policies that can stimulate skill demand through innovation and better jobs, effectively matched to the skills of young and adult workers.

A poster about the bilan de compétences can be downloaded here. The presentation is available here.