"Reforms in labor markets in the Member States and in education, vocational education and training systems and apprenticeship are imperative in order to create a genuine European educational space to meet current and future challenges and lead to success in the global battle for talents. "
This is stated in the final declaration of the participants in the meeting of Group 1 "Employers" of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held today (22 March 2018) in Sofia. The forum is part of the calendar of the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council and co-organizers are the EESC and the Association of Organisations of Bulgarian Employers (AOBE).
The topic of the forum was "Bridging the skills gap for growth and job creation – business perspective" and the focus of the discussion was:
- How do we overcome the gaps in skills?
- How do we adapt education systems to today's challenges?
- What needs to be done at European and national level?
More than 100 representatives of employers' organizations from EU Member States, policy makers and academics took part in the meeting, and the purpose of the discussion was to share and discuss best practices to seek ideas and solutions.
The forum was officially opened by the chairman of the EESC Employers Group, Jacek Krawczyk, and the rotating President of AOBE, Bojidar Danev, and a keynote speech was delivered by Zornitsa Rusinova, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy.
Greetings to the participants in the meeting were presented by the Vice-President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Iliyana Yotova, the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Labour and Social Policy, Hassan Ademov and the Minister for the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council, Lilyana Pavlova.
The discussion was essentially divided into two thematic panels - "Skills challenges in the knowledge-based economy" and "How to overcome the imbalance between supply and demand on the labour market?", in which took part the heads of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop), the Association of European Chambers of Commerce (Eurochambres), the European Federation of Education Employers (EFEE), the National Employers' Organizations of Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria, as well as representatives of sector employers' organizations and companies.