Written by Anders Bergström, Policy Area Education Coordinator


Upskilling and reskilling

Skill shortage and supply is a challenge for many sectors in Europe, both private and public. For example finding engineers for the green and digital transition or nurses to health care just to mention two.

Another challenge related to skills is the need for employees for upskilling and reskilling their competences to meet the needs of an ever-changing labour market. One can simply not expect that skills acquired in school or university will be enough for the duration of a whole career. 

A third challenge is related to the ageing population, where we live longer and stay healthier longer. To offer robust pension schemes, we need to work longer, and that also requires upskilling and reskilling of competences. 

Baltic Sea Labor Forum

These topics were discussed at the 4th EU Macro-regional Strategies week in Brussels. In a panel discussion on skills, Merle Andraschko, Policy Area Education Coordinator from the Hamburg Senate Chancellery represented the EUSBSR points of views. She took the Baltic Sea Labour Forum as an example of how the Baltic Sea Region is dealing with the competence supply and challenges mentioned above. 

Members of the forum are social partners and governments, an example of tripartite collaboration. Recently they finalized a group of projects financed by the European Social Funds (ESF) in Finland, Latvia, Poland and Sweden. 

The projects delivered policy briefs dealing with a sustainable working life. An example is the policy brief “Taking a Gender Perspective on Early Retirement and Work-life Balance”. Women in the age group 55+ face particular challenges related to remaining in working life, one of them is finding a work/life balance. Focus is here on women’s care-giving duties and the implications of women’s dual roles in the domestic and professional spheres on health, well-being, economic situation, and decision to retire early. The policy brief examined different caregiving models and argued that these can play a crucial role in both supporting and preventing women from remaining in working life longer.