Horizon Europe - Cluster 2 - Destination 3 - "Conditions for the successful development of skills matched to needs"
The Commission estimates that an EU contribution of between EUR 2.00 and 3.00 million would allow these outcomes to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of a proposal requesting different amounts.
The total indicative budget for the topic is EUR 9.00 million.
Research and Innovation Actions
Projects should contribute to both of the following expected outcomes:
- Enable policymakers to better understand, measure and reduce skills gaps and problematic mismatches between skills and jobs, thereby supporting the diffusion and adoption of innovation, the digital and green transitions, inclusive economic growth as well as individual wellbeing.
- Support the objectives of the European Skills Agenda for Sustainable Competitiveness, Social Fairness and Resilience as regards Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Adult Learning (AL).
A considerable proportion of businesses in the EU report difficulties finding staff with adequate skills and consider the lack of skilled workers as one of their biggest challenge. At the same time, many young workers in the EU are classified as being overqualified and face a horizontal skills mismatch (i.e. they do not work in an occupation that corresponds to their field of study). In cases where such gaps and mismatches are not a result of individual choice, but rather the consequence of a lack of professional opportunities, of information or coordination, they may hinder the diffusion and adoption of innovation as well as reduce inclusive economic growth and individual wellbeing.
The European Skills Agenda for Sustainable Competitiveness, Social Fairness and Resilience recognises the importance played by cooperation, skills intelligence, VET and AL in ensuring that people – regardless of gender, racial or ethnic origin, disability, religion or belief, age or sexual orientation, and including low-qualified/skilled adults and people with a migrant background – have the right skills to access and progress in the labour market throughout life. To reduce skill gaps, and identify and reduce problematic forms of mismatches in an informed manner, innovative research activities are needed that focus on understanding them both from the supply and demand side. Such activities should look into the roles played by individuals, public and private employers, skills-development institutions and policy frameworks.
For example, research activities carried out under this topic may cover aspects such as the determinants of the choice of VET or study programme by individuals; the coordination, cost sharing and financing instruments for skills development, looking into which instruments lead to which outcomes, and why; the role of employers and work places in the provision of VET and AL. Other researched aspects may be the involvement of employers in defining curricula and organising training; the role of personal attitudes and gender stereotypes, information and structural factors in the decision to seek initial or adult education; the extent to which training balances the provision of general, job-specific and personal development skills (e.g. the levels and gaps of digital skills in the public or private sectors). Finally, proposals may look at the opportunities of informal learning and skills formation provided by workplaces; the coordination at local level between VET institutions, employers, R&I agencies or other public institutions; the interaction of skills development systems and institutions with other domains, in particular innovation and industrial policies, etc.
Where possible and relevant, research should draw lessons from recent policy interventions in a contextual manner, and propose adjustment measures, or test them through social innovation experiments.