New Industry-led Pact for Skills Partnership for the European Health and Life Sciences Sector Launched

EIT Health has been selected as the coordinator of the Skills Partnership for the European Health Industry, and in doing so, will collaborate closely with DG GROW and DG EMPL to bring about positive changes and boost skills development in the healthcare industry.

Following commitments in other industrial ecosystems, this Partnership is a concrete implementation of the Pact for Skills, one of the flagship initiatives under the European Skills Agenda for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience.

The Partnership’s aim is to work together to respond to the needs and challenges faced by the health industry and establish a shared model for skills development in Europe, pooling knowledge, experiences and resources. The overall goal is to attract new talent and support the existing workforce through reskilling and upskilling initiatives, promoting learning opportunities and ‘on-the-job’ training that strengthen the sector’s resilience and equip professionals with the skills they need.

Skills challenge facing the health industry

COVID 19 exposed the overwhelming need for a resilient and responsive healthcare system, and in response, the European Union’s industrial strategy upgraded healthcare to one of the key industrial ecosystems.

As one of the biggest and fastest growing industries globally, the healthcare sector is currently undergoing a rapid transformation fuelled by technological advancements, digital and green transition, economic changes, and societal shifts. These changes will enable innovation and high competitiveness of the EU in global markets and ensure the availability of medicines and devices for a good functioning and resilient healthcare system that is ready to respond in case of future public health threats. 

Research by our WorkInHealth Foundation shows the sector is also facing a major skills challenge as it prepares for the future. With nearly 8 million jobs affected by the skills shift, the challenges of making the health industry attractive to young talent, especially those with data skills, are enormous.

And with the number of chronic patients expected to increase by 67% by 2050 and an ageing population in Europe that will increase the need of health industry products, the need to address this skills shortage has become even more crucial.

Skills Partnership objectives

The Partnership has produced a series of long-term objectives to realise its vision that encompass various aspects of the health industry ecosystem and aim to address the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead:

  • Understanding the current skills need in the health industry ecosystem
  • Bridging the skills gap
  • Enhancing health industry and university collaboration
  • Facilitating cross-border mobility and recognition of qualifications
  • Promoting lifelong learning and continuous professional development
  • Strengthening public-private partnerships
  • Pooling available funding opportunities
  • Enhancing the attractiveness of the sector

These objectives collectively form a comprehensive framework to address the skills challenges in the health industry. By pursuing these objectives, the Partnership will enhance the skills landscape, foster collaboration, support professional development, and ultimately strengthen the industry’s competitiveness and impact.

Skills Partnership initial actions

Initially, the Partnership will focus on enhancing the health industry’s skills intelligence, monitoring of new training programmes aligned with both the current and future industry skills requirements, and draft a skills strategy for European health industry. An upcoming priority is to build a strong Consortia that can apply for EU funding under the Erasmus+ programme and continue to explore other funding opportunities.  

Given the complexity of the health industry sector, including its regulatory and quality requirements, the Partnership will also aim to address the needs related to rapid technological advancements, regulatory compliance, quality assurance, as well as supply chain, stockpiling or distribution management.

More information

For more Information on the EU Pact for Skills: https://ec.europa.eu/social/PactforSkills 

If you are interested in joining the initiative, please email Anna Wurm, Public Affairs and Stakeholder Relations Manager: anna.wurm@eithealth.eu