10 November 2020 – Mr Micael Johansson – CEO of SAAB and Board Member of the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) –, represented the Aerospace & Defence (A&D) ecosystem during the launch event of the Pact for Skills initiative, in the framework of the European Vocational Skills Week 2020. The event was organised by the European Commission in cooperation with the German Presidency and saw the participation of Commissioners Schmit and Breton.
The main objective of the Pact is to mobilise and incentivise all relevant stakeholders to take concrete actions for the upskilling and reskilling of the workforce, by pooling efforts and setting up partnerships addressing the needs of European Industrial Ecosystems supporting green and digital transitions as well as local, regional growth strategies.
The A&D ecosystem has been selected by the Commission to take part in this initiative and this represents a crucial step to ensure its future competitiveness. A success in the Pact for Skills will undoubtedly benefit strategic EU policy and industrial interests.
In his speech, Mr Johansson stressed the industrial challenges, opportunities and ambitions related to the Pact and mentioned a number of actions to secure a sustainable supply of required skills, based on equality and diversity for around 600,000 employees in the A&D ecosystem.
“On 16 October, ASD and top leaders of our industry confirmed their commitment to the Pact for Skills’ plan in relation to their respective industrial eco-systems, for a very certain reason” said Mr Johansson. He added: “Our industries deliver state-of-the-art technology, contributing to European Security and Mobility, and as a champion for exports, also to Trade balance, Jobs and Wealth. This unique position has been built upon a long-term access to the best possible skills in the world and will simply not be possible to maintain without securing that access for the future.”
In order to achieve the important objectives set by the Pact for Skills, the A&D eco-system will develop and run concrete actions on the basis of three main axes: (1) The Skills Forecasting: to anticipate main gaps in skills that we need to address on time. (2) The Up- Skilling/Re-skilling Programmes: to develop and implement solutions to up-skill and re-skill approximately 200,000 employees in EU in the next 5 years. (3) The Talents development and engagement: to boost attraction, development and retention of woman and talents, considering that 300,000 skilled people will need to join this industry in the next 10 years.
“Our industry’s partnership within Pact for Skills will ensure cooperation based on commitment of all stakeholders involved, a well-established and functioning anticipation system, and systematic and mutual recognition of skills and qualifications acquired across the EU” Mr. Johansson concluded.
Alessandro Profumo, President of ASD and CEO of Leonardo, commented: “The inclusion of our sector in this programme recognises the contribution of Aerospace, Space, Defence and Security employees to the competitiveness and international standing of Europe as a whole, that we hope will be leveraged within the effort for the economic recovery of the EU”. The ASD President, who was not present at the event, further commented on priorities that are key to the Association: “Extending the efforts from nation-wide to European Union wide provides the unique possibility to achieve the goal with right scales and in an effective manner. Our ambition is to collectively ensure a continuous and sustainable supply of skills, while keeping equality and diversity front and centre, through the development of our present and future employees and those working in our supply chains. We now look forward to working with the European Commission and the Member States to make this initiative deliver actual results” Mr Profumo ended”.