Skills and Innovation (Integrated Projects 2020-2021)

As part of the Work Programme of the EU Social Partners, ETUC, Business Europe, SME United and SGIEurope have launched a project on skills and innovation and the world of work.


Skills are a key asset for fostering innovation. However, Cedefop’s European skills and jobs survey has revealed that about 30% of European employees possess qualifications that are not well-matched to those required by their jobs. Also 45% of EU adult workers believe that their skills can be better developed or used at work.

Human resources and work organisation practices need to be reviewed in order to create the right working environment to support innovation and approaches to long-term skills strategies, and the provision of and access to training, cooperation between workers and employers, and employee involvement in problem-solving, employee-led innovation and access to external ideas.

Social dialogue and collective agreements also play an important role in the governance of innovation-oriented training systems. Their input can help to create training opportunities and to improve the relevance and provision of employee training.

The project activities will build on a fact-finding seminar in June 2019 and, amongst others, upon their joint work in the framework of actions for the lifelong development of competencies and qualifications and the 2017-2018 project on promoting social partnership in employee training.



  • to meet changes in innovation and its link to the long-term skills strategy development of enterprises;
  • organise partnerships to improve access to high quality and innovative employee training and to improve the relevance of cooperation between enterprises, social partners, education and training providers and organisations that aim to foster research and innovation;
  • analyse the different ways in which countries and enterprises provide and foster access to training, including through new approaches, such as digital learning, training entitlements, and the effectiveness of training in responding the changing needs of employers and workers;
  • study the combination of technical and soft skills in the context of a changing working environment.


Project Outcomes:

Final Report

Social Partners' recommendations on skills, innovation, provision of and access to training



In the framework of this project, European Social Partners have asked an external consultant, ADAPT, to carry out a study to answer the questions listed above. This study consists in:

  • Mapping studies through desk research/surveys and gathering data on enterprises’ approaches to innovation and training.
  • Conduct interviews among member organisations of social partners seeking good cases and practices at company level, sectoral levels, national level.


European Social Partners are organising 3 thematic seminars. Details about these seminars can be found below:


Final Conference (18 November - online)


- List of Participants

Final Report

Social Partners' recommendations on skills, innovation, provision of and access to training


- Presentations: Margherita Roiatti, Senior Researcher ADAPT


At the end of the project, desk research, interviews, on-line surveys and cluster seminars will be concluded in a final report presented by ADAPT at a final conference. In addition, the results of the project will lead to policy recommendations issued by the Social Partners.