Position Paper | Recommendations for the European Year of Skills 2023
EIT Food welcomes the decision to designate 2023 as the European Year of Skills and took the opportunity to feed into the dedicated Open Consultation run by the European Commission, providing its insights as Europe’s leading food innovation initiative, working to accelerate the twin transitions through innovation, education, entrepreneurship and public engagement.
Innovation is a major enabler for the transition to healthier, more sustainable, and resilient food systems. The correct skillsets are in turn needed for innovation to take place, especially in the agrifood sector, which faces many sector-specific skill and education challenges that require tailored efforts. Skill shortages leave many professionals unequipped for the challenges posed by the twin green and digital transitions to achieve a sustainable food system. To tackle this skill gap, EIT Food already deploys a vast array of education activities, aimed at cultivating the crucial blend of innovation and entrepreneurial skills needed for the transformation, fully in line with the objectives stated in Article 2 of the EYS proposal.
While inviting a clear link between addressing the skills gap and innovation capability in the text of the proposal itself, EIT Food recommended further emphasis on the following elements:
- Promote entrepreneurial and innovation skills as essential tools for the workforce to tackle the challenges ahead in the transition to a green and digital EU industry. In the agrifood sector, where a conservative mindset prevails, promoting innovation skills is crucial if we want to meet the growing and changing food demand.
- Enhance funding opportunities to deploy upskilling and reskilling initiatives/programmes and thus develop a skilled and innovative workforce that can lead the way in the sustainable transition.
- Increase synergies between stakeholders striving to boost innovation and related skills, to achieve the systemic approach that is needed for a modern, sustainable, and thriving European industry.
Read EIT Food’s full response by downloading the document below.