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Department of Social Sciences

Blueprint “New Skills Agenda Steel”: Industry-driven sustainable European Steel Skills Agenda and Strategy (ESSA)

01/01/2019 - 06/30/2023

ESSA is realizing an industry driven, sustainable and coordinated blueprint for a European Steel Skills Agenda. A Blueprint strategy for human capital development through a Sector Skills Alliance (SSA) is delivered within a social innovation process involving a broad range of key stakeholders of the steel industry: companies, education and training providers, research institutions, social partners (European and national steel associations and trade unions) as well as sector experts).

European Flag, next to it the text: "Co funded by the European Union"

European Union - ERASMUS+

Economic, digital and technological developments, as well as increasing energy efficiency and environmental requirements, pose many challenges to the European (and global) steel industry, including the continuous updating of the workforce's skills, knowledge and competence profiles. The aim of this project is to establish a sector-oriented, sustainable and coordinated European Agenda for New Skills in the Steel Industry in terms of addressing the new (digital) challenges in the short term and in a sustainable way.

A blueprint for human capital development will be developed through a European Sector Skills Alliance (ESSA) as part of a social innovation process involving key stakeholders in the steel industry. Building on previous and currently ongoing initiatives (e.g., the European Steel Technology Platform ESTEP) and research (e.g., the GT-VET project), this endeavor will provide a consolidated approach to addressing sector-specific needs and challenges, focusing in particular on the skills required for corporate employees and their required skills. The project will develop concrete and practical strategies and programs (modules and tools) to anticipate skills needs.

Two main objectives will be strategically targeted:

  1. Proactively identify skills needs and requirements for building appropriate training and curricula, including a strategy for implementing new content and pedagogy of vocational education (including training development) across the sector (enabling and promoting mutual recognition of skills and training and mobility across the sector), both in companies and in education and training institutions;
  2. Identify, develop and promote successful sectoral recruitment and training activities (including sharing existing tools and best practices) and develop initial (framework) training tools for (a) managing knowledge effectively for talent development and mobility and (b) addressing recruitment difficulties (e.g., due to the low attractiveness of the steel industry) - with the aim of recruiting talent and creating a more diverse workforce;These two main objectives will be supported by:
  3. establishing a database of industry occupations, job profiles, and skill requirements to facilitate (a) recruitment and (b) job search; (c) establishing the supply of skills and training at local, national, and EU levels; and (d) analyzing skill requirements;
  4. ensuring policy support measures by mobilizing and integrating (sector) stakeholders and policy makers at EU and member state levels;
  5. developing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) within an established skills alliance to continuously monitor success against objectives 1) and 2), and proactively adapting the blueprint and alliance to address new emerging challenges.
  • Steel companies: ThyssenKruppSteel Europe, ArcelorMittal (Poland, Spain), Salzgitter AG, Sidenor, BARNA (Celsa Group)

  • Education and training institutions: Steel Institute VDEh, IMZ, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, TKSE Training Centre, AM Spain, World Steel University

  • Steel associations and unions: EUROFER, ESTEP, industriALL Europe, World Steel Association, UNESID, Polish Steel Platform, German Steel Federation, European Cold Rolled Steel Association CIELFFA, Association of Finish Steel and Metal Producers, OS KOVO, Federacciai (Federazione Imprese Siderurgiche Italiane)

  • Research institutes: TU Dortmund University, Cardiff University, University of Deusto, CSM/RINA, Visionary Analytics

  • Associated partners: IndustriALL (European Industry Union), Industriarbetsgivarna (Swedish Industry Federation), ESTEP European Steel Technology Platform, Polish Steel Platform, Celsa Group (representing steel companies from France, Norway, Wales, Poland and Spain), Enrico Gibellieri (European Steel expert), Community (UK union), EIT Raw Materials

ESSA is developing a sector-oriented, sustainable and coordinated draft European agenda for new qualifications in the steel industry at EU level and a rollout plan for the steel producing and processing member states.

The main objectives are

  • Proactive adaptation of qualifications
  • New training and curricula requirements (including new ways for short-term implementation in both companies and educational institutions)
  • Policy support measures through mobilization and integration of stakeholders and policy makers at EU and national level
  • Successful sectoral training measures and efficient knowledge management
  • Increased attractiveness of the steel industry and careers for talent (recruitment and retention)
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs) for continuous monitoring of success and adaptation needs.

The project is designed as a social innovation process that involves all relevant stakeholders in a co-creation process and considers the societal (social, economic, environmental) impacts from the beginning. Against this background, the development of the skills alliance is carried out through the following activities:

  • Combination of a European cross-border sectoral approach with national / regional specifications involving national and regional authorities.
  • comprehensive cooperation of companies and research / education / training institutes
  • involvement of social partnership (European and for the selected pilot member states)
  • Future foresight to proactively identify the future needs of the steel industry
  • Joint development of concrete tools and activities with stakeholders (e.g. HR managers, technicians and engineers, workers, training and teaching staff)
  • Promote a two-way and joint development of Industry 4.0 and Work 4.0
  • Ensuring cross-sector development and exchange between industry representatives, companies, politics, science and education.

This is done in eight work packages (WP):

  • WP1: Management
  • WP2: Technological and economic development and foresight (digital transformation, Industry 4.0)
  • WP3: Company-related current and future qualification requirements (skills, knowledge, competencies; work 4.0)
  • WP4: Vocational education and training requirements / National vocational education and training systems.
  • WP5: Development of a European blueprint (incl. training measures and trainer modules, linking with existing EU instruments such as EQF, ECVET etc.)
  • WP6: Transfer, implementation and monitoring - cooperation and dissemination (at EU and Member State level).
  • WP7: Policy recommendations (including cooperation with EU and Member States stakeholders and national funding institutions).
  • WP8: Quality assurance

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