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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
Press release31 January 2022Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Commission leads push for new and additional skills for workers in the tourism industry

Today, with the support of the Commission, the tourism industry, European tourism umbrella associations, vocational education and training providers, and trade unions have set up a large-scale skills partnership for the EU tourism ecosystem. 

Members of the partnership have agreed on specific commitments and indicators to support tourism workers in learning new skills in the coming years. These could include digital, green and social skills, such as customer service training and language skills, all of which can improve employability in this sector.  One of the objectives of the partnership is to increase upskilling and reskilling activities and participation by 40% for the employed workforce, and by 80% for the unemployed by 2025. As the EU tourism ecosystem has been severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, investing in skills is essential to maintain its competitiveness, to meet the economic and social responsibilities of the sector and to enable its digital and green transition. 

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, said: “As one of the most impacted ecosystems during the pandemic, tourism businesses have lost valuable employees and are hampered by a lack of skilled workforce. For a sustained recovery, we need to give the tourism workforce the necessary skills to address the changing demands of tourists and to become pioneers in the green and digital transition. National and regional skills partnerships will drive the implementation of the Pact for Skills on the ground.”

Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, said: “Europe’s tourism ecosystem is facing unprecedented hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This new partnership for skills will respond the needs of our companies and workers. It will provide tools to support them and will help create new quality jobs”. 

Following commitments in 6 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 main objective of the Pact is to mobilise resources and incentivise all relevant partners to take concrete action to upskill and reskill the workforce in key industrial ecosystems. Since its launch, over 500 organisations have pledged to reskill over 1.5 million people in Europe. This initiative also contributes to the EU-level headline target that by 2030, at least 60% of all adults should participate in training every year. In addition, the initiative supports the tourism transition pathway, which is being co-created by tourism stakeholders.

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