Around 20 million new jobs could be created in the EU 25 by 2020, according to a study presented by the Commission yesterday (16 December). Almost three quarters of these will be in the services sector, the study forecasts.
The best prospects are expected to be in the services market, including the information technology (IT), insurance and consulting sectors, as well as in health care, social work, hotels and catering. On the other hand, sectors like construction could lose 2.9 million jobs, the report says.
As the EU shifts towards a knowledge-based economy, the number of jobs requiring a high level of education will rise from 25% to 31%, the Commission forecasts.
Presenting the EU executive's "New skills for new jobs" initiative, Employment Commissioner Vladimír Špidla and Education and Training Commissioner Ján Figel' said in a joint statement: "It makes no sense in these difficult economic times to see unemployment rising but job vacancies still not being filled. We must ensure a better match between the skills that workers have and the jobs that are available."
Soft skills, such as problem-solving, analytical, self-management and communication skills, but also language skills, digital competences and the ability to work in a team will become more important, according to the Commission.
In this context, teaching quality will be key, Figel' told EurActiv in an earlier interview (EurActiv 04/12/08). Furthermore, the EU executive wants to increase cooperation with third countries, notably the US, China, Canada and India, as well as with international organisations such as the OECD.
Another key challenge will be the demographic factor, the EU executive said. "Too little is [being] done to increase and adapt the skills of an ageing workforce," the text reads.
The Commission plans to regularly assess the labour market's long-term supply and demand until 2020 and would like to see businesses to play a "key role" in this.