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Social partners have a key role to adapt labour markets to the twin digital and green transitions

Speaking at the informal meeting of ministers for work, employment and social affairs (EPSCO) in Bordeaux, BusinessEurope Director of Social Affairs Maxime Cerutti pointed out that Europe's policy response to the Covid-19 crisis has reminded our societies of the key role social partners play. "Europe's ability to succeed in the recovery is a key challenge today, whereas companies are facing growing labour and skills shortages", he said. These short-term challenges, he added, come together with the need to secure the best possible strategic orientation of Europe's green and digital transitions strategies for Europe to emerge stronger of this crisis. These twin transitions are having a fundamental impact on company production conditions. For a successful labour market response, the focus should be on employment growth and on designing the necessary solutions to changing skills needs to enhance innovation and increase productivity. Social dialogue in line with national practices, combined with skills intelligence, can help to identify the new and emerging skills needs that employers have and address them in effective up and re-skilling strategies. It is important that the upcoming European Commission's initiative on social dialogue provides a framework that enables social partners to work together to address the challenges and opportunities of the twin transitions. Within this there is a need to improve EU tripartite consultation structures and capacity building support to national social partners, focusing on the countries where this is most needed.

Last updated: 15 February 2022