Policy paper 175
 

EU strategy: Reskilling for the fourth Industrial Revolution

The current wave of digital transformation is rapidly changing industrial production processes. It presents a formidable challenge to EU policymakers, since only a successful transformation of European industry can ensure Europe’s competitiveness in the future.

|   08/03/2017             |   Paul-Jasper Dittrich             |   Labour and social affairs
Policy paper

The current wave of digital transformation is rapidly changing industrial production processes. The Internet of Things, cloud computing and other innovations facilitate a more software-driven, individual and efficient way of producing goods and services. And it presents a formidable challenge to EU policymakers, since only a successful transformation of European industry in general and of manufacturing industry in particular can ensure Europe’s competitiveness in the future.

The need to develop reskilling programmes for connected production and the multi-faceted digital divide within the EU should encourage European policymakers to develop a European reskilling approach. Bearing in mind the institutional constraints within the EU concerning education policy (which to all intents and purposes is in the hands of the Member States), Paul Jasper Dittrich, Research Fellow at the Jacques Delors Institute – Berlin, makes two recommendations with regard to the development of a European reskilling strategy.
1. Build a “European Coalition for Reskilling and Digitizing Industry” consisting of large European manufacturing companies which can help SMEs throughout the EU to develop their own reskilling programmes.
2. Upgrade the network of Digital Innovation Hubs into a network for innovation and skills development and training.