Brussels – The European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers’ Association has highlighted its continuing role in an EU-wide initiative to improve the skills base in the automotive industry.
The work is being led by the European Automotive Skills Council, which held its final conference at the European Economic and Social Committee, where EU policymakers, industry and other stakeholders discuss the skills challenges facing the sector.
According to an ETRMA release, 23 percent of the European automotive workforce are near or at the point of retirement and less than a quarter of employees are female. These demographic trends, coupled with the digitalisation of the industry, reflect the significant skills challenges that the European automotive sector faces.
These issues being addressed by the European Automotive Skills Council (EASC), following more than a year’s work of research and dialogue with a wide variety of industry partners.
Growing from a core group of five to 13 members from across more than a dozen EU Member States, the EASC was created to serve as a framework platform for identifying skills challenges and drawing up solutions for the automotive sector.
The EASC’s work is also supported by the GEAR2030 stakeholder initiative which seeks to maintain and promote the technological leadership of the European automotive industry by sustainably furthering competitiveness around a high value added model.
The final conference offered industry insights of how to meet these challenges and to maintain and build upon the necessary skills, knowledge and best practices that will ensure Europe will remain a world leader in automotive innovation and excellence.
“Digitalisation is a universal trend and a key challenge for the automotive industry. We need to make sure that we’re building the knowledge and skills today for the jobs of tomorrow. This requires a flexible and adaptable skills training framework that both trains young people for work in the industry and educates the existing workforce to incorporate these changes positively”, said Paul Schockmel, CLEPA CEO.
The European automotive industry faces a number of other challenges which will impact its future in the long term: the increasing importance of certain drivers of change and their impact on skills and qualifications, including: advanced materials, advanced manufacturing, complex and global supply chains, life cycle design and pollution prevention, active safety, automated driving and connectivity along with decarbonisation, electrification and hybridisation.
These challenges cannot be faced alone, according to Fazilet Cinaralp, secretary general of ETRMA.
"The EASC and other stakeholders - national authorities, educational institutions and the business - have demonstrated the need to work harder today to adapt industrial and employment strategies, which build on the specificities of national education systems to anticipate and match the skills needs of the industry and to counter the effects of the broader demographic trends in Europe." said Cinaralp.