27 March 2024


On 20 March the European Commission presented an action plan to tackle labour and skills shortages proposing to work together with Member States and social partners to address these issues over the coming months and years. The action plan is part of the EU’s strategy to boost its competitiveness and enhance its economic and social resilience. For almost a decade, labour and skills shortages have been increasing in all Member States. These shortages are driven by demographic shifts, the demand for new skills linked to technological developments and the twin transitions, the drive to develop further our own industrial sectors, defence and security needs, and challenges related to working conditions in some sectors and locations. The Commission has identified 42 ‘shortage’ occupations,  including for example Heavy truck and lorry drivers

The action plan is also a key deliverable of the European Year of Skills. It builds on the many policy and funding measures already in place at EU level, such as the Pact for Skills which has so far provided training to 3.5 million workers, the 2030 employment and skills targets endorsed at the Porto Social Summit, the adequate minimum wages and platform work directives, and the €65 billion in EU funds available to invest in skills.

The action plan is a follow up to the Val Duchesse Social Partners Summit of January 2024 and has been drafted in consultation with European social partners, whose role is crucial to implement solutions to address these challenges. The plan sets out actions in five areas to be implemented swiftly at the EU, national, and social-partners’ level:

  • Supporting the activation of underrepresented people in the labour market
  • Providing support for skills development, training and education
  • Improving working conditions in certain sectors
  • Improving fair intra-EU mobility for workers and learners
  • Attracting talent from outside the EU

 More information is available here.