The skills challenge

Skills miss-match, from challenge to opportunity: As underlined by DG Employment in its 2015 Management Plan, in the EU "Severe unemployment coexists with an ageing workforce, shortages of skilled workers and skill mismatches". This mismatch was also identified by CARS21 and confirmed as an issue in GEAR 2030. As a result, the European Automotive Skills Council was launched to identify the drivers of change and the working profiles of tomorrow. It is clear that the industry alone cannot succeed in turning this challenge into an opportunity and institutions at both national and EU level and educators have a key role to play to in this sense.

The capacity of the European rubber industry to preserve its manufacturing base and jobs in Europe will depend on its capacity to increase the competitiveness through innovation and quick and smooth adaptation to change. From employment point of view, this means jobs transformation -in terms of new tasks, new skills profiles and new working arrangements. The reinforcement of the competitiveness of the sector constitutes the only way to preserve and develop employment in the EU in the long term.

The generational challenge: The skills of those who are retiring are a rare commodity on the labour market. Furthermore, the sector seems to no longer attract young talents as other competing ones, such as electronics and telecommunication.

Keeping up with the innovation: The type of jobs available in the sector are shifting towards highly trained and specialised workers with polyvalent tasks: less repetitive and more "machine tune and control" skills. Furthermore, the industry demands for combined engineering specialisations –ME CHEM TRONIC, PhDs in Chemistry or Material Science, Electronics &Telecommunication, Computer Science, Informatics, Operations Management, Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Production Planning, Distribution, Supply Chain & Logistics, Business & Strategic Planning, Industrial Technology etc.