Edition 82 - February 2008

CEDEFOP: Demand for higher skills will rise further

CEDEFOP, the Thessaloniki-based European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, has produced a study forecasting skills needs in Europe until the year 2015.  The report, entitled Future skill needs in Europe: medium term forecast, unsurprisingly predicts a further shift in labour markets, away from the primary (agricultural) and manufacturing sector, and into services. Compared to 2006, the primary sector will lose two million jobs, and manufacturing half a million. The services sector, however, will produce 13 million new posts by 2013. 

Europe’s labour force in 2015 needs to be much more highly qualified than today. The present share of 80 out of 210 million Europeans in non-manual highly skilled jobs will increase. The demand for higher qualifications, which is driven by the constant rise of the service sector and technological change, will affect all segments of the labour market: even unskilled manual labourers will need a higher level of qualifications in 2015 than today. It is clear that growing qualification and skills demands will require additional efforts in education, training and lifelong learning.

The study covers all EU member states except Bulgaria and Romania, as well as Norway and Switzerland.

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