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On 28 January 2015, the Automotive Skills Council successfully took off with its first Networking Event “Growth and Employment”, which took place at the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels. This was the first of a series of four networking meetings that aim to propose concrete actions to solve skill gaps in the automotive industry.
After a welcome from EESC representative Patrizio Pesci, Co-President CCMI, the morning session was opened by Paul Schockmel, CLEPA CEO, together with Luc Triangle, Deputy General Secretary industriAll, and Fazilet Cinaralp, Secretary General ETRMA.
Philippe Jean, Head of Unit DG GROW, welcomed the start of the Automotive Skills Council, as the European Commission places high value on the issue of skills in the framework of the EU Industrial Policy initiative. He underlined the importance of establishing Skills Councils as a direct link between policy-makers, industry representatives, academia and training providers.
A controversial academic point of view on the (in-)ability of the EU to govern the automotive industry was presented by Sigfrido Ramirez from the French research institute GERPISA, which provided food for thought and discussion during the second part of the morning session. His presentation was followed by Federico Brugnoli from Spin360 who gave an overview on the actual structure of the Skills Council and which will be accompanied by a comparative study to be presented by the end of the project.
The first panel debate of the afternoon included representatives from the UK, France, Spain and Slovenia: Jo Lopes, Jaguar Landrover and Chair of the Automotive Industrial Partnership, and Tony Burke, Assistant General Secretary Unite The Union, presented the UK Automotive Skills Council, a successful national initiative set up as response to the crisis in 2008/9; Corinne Billerault, Responsable Formation Initiale at the French National Institute of Education and Training for Employees in the Rubber Industry, presented sector-specific on-the-job training examples;
Maria Luisa Soria, Secretary General of Sernauto, spoke about the answers of the Spanish automotive industry to the crisis and their commitment in terms of skills; finally, Dusan Busen, Director of the Automotive Cluster Slovenia, linked the Automotive Skills Council to the Automotive Skills Alliance (AQUA), where standardised skills and training requirements for automotive industry employment profiles are being developed.
The scope of the second panel debate was to present different approaches to skills and training developed by the industry and academia: Jon Altuna Iraola, Vice Rector of Mondragon University, explained how a global corporate invests in the skills development of its employees; Pierre Blazevic, Director of the Engineering School at University of Versailles, presented the successful cooperation between academia and industry when it comes to engineering curricula and education requirements;
Caroline Holmqvist from CEEMET (Council of European Employers of the Metal, Engineering and Technology-based Industries) outlined employers’ expectations of the Automotive Skills Council from a European industry associations’ perspective; and Christian Brunkhorst, Coordinator Automotive Industry at IG Metall, concluded by stressing the importance of skills, training and development of personal competences for workers in an ever more competitive working environment.
This first Networking Event was closed by CLEPA Deputy CEO Amalia Di Stefano who thanked the participants and invited all interested to continue their cooperation in the framework of the Automotive Skills Councils’ next meetings, on 24 June 2015 in Paris and on 1 October 2015 in Rome.
14h00 Short introduction by each participant, moderated panel debate
15h15 Coffee Break
Second Panel Debate: Skills experiences from the automotive industry
15h45 Short introduction by each participant, moderated panel debate
16h45 Closing Remarks
17h00 End of Meeting