As all sectors of the economy, the MET industries continue to be impacted by a persistent skills mismatch and skills shortage. Indeed, if skills shortages have existed for many years, the need for new skills adapted to the twin transitions has amplified this challenge.
Against this background, the tech and industry employers call on policymakers at all levels to:
Invest in effective and well-functioning career guidance
Career guidance is not working efficiently in most EU countries. Career guidance for youngsters between 14 and 18 does not even exist in some EU countries.
Hence, policy makers should urgently invest in effective, practical, and flexible career guidance that is free from gender stereotypes
We firmly believe that well-designed effective career guidance is an indispensable pillar to attract young people and women to VET and STEM related disciplines and in general to guide and advice young people on employment opportunities and skills needs.
Investing in STEM related disciplines and studies
STEM and ICT professionals are needed in many fields, including emerging ones such as the electric-vehicle production. Indeed, our companies have a pressing need of Data analysts, Engineers, Cybersecurity specialists, ICT specialists, as well as workers with the adequate analytical skills and system design skills. All these professions and skills sets are indispensable to ensure the success of the green transition and the digital transformation that industries are undergoing. However, today´s graduates continue to move away from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields that are most in demand by employers, including our companies.
It is thus critical that policy makers continue to boost the investment in STEM related studies and disciplines. Deploying the adequate awareness raising campaigns in order to attract women and young people to STEM is certainly another success factor to increase their interest in following STEM careers and disciplines.
Continuously anticipate skills needs
Identifying skills needs in line with labour market immediate needs and future skills continues remains a challenging task. However, we continue to advocate for the development of strategies on anticipation of skills in order to design education and training programmes that are labour market driven.
Cooperation between education & training providers, and industry must be reinforced at all levels with a view to ensure that education and training systems deliver the set of skills that labour markets need.
Invest in well-functioning Vocational Education and Training and effective and quality apprenticeships
Ceemet is persuaded that excellent VET systems are an indispensable tool to deliver the right set skills that our companies need to cope with the major technological changes as well as to facilitate the transition to the green economy. Certainly, VET with a strong component of work-based learning is the key to helping to overcome the current skills shortages that are occurring within the MET industries.
Even if the image of vocational training has improved substantially in recent years, we continue to advocate for increasing the visibility and attractiveness of VET as a first-class training choice that leads to quality employment in the MET industries.
Continuously invest in up-skilling and re-skilling of the workforce
It is essential that workers are constantly trained all along their career to remain employable as well as for them to acquire the right set of skills adapted to present and future labour market needs, in particular in the midst of the green and digital transitions.
Ceemet insists on decision makers across all Europe to support the re-skilling and up-skilling of the workforce in the MET industries as well as to support SMEs to develop right skilling initiatives.
The EU and the Member States should deploy awareness raising campaigns that underline importance of lifelong learning (LLL) and Continuing Education and Training (CET) as key instruments for maintaining one’s employability in a rapidly changing world of work.