Plenty of new initiatives, but the most pivotal component may be the creation of the EU Talent Pool, aimed at connecting EU employers with prospective job seekers from third countries. Additionally, efforts to promote the acknowledgement of qualifications and encourage learner mobility have been incorporated.
Surging vacancy rates
The Commission acknowledged the persistent skills shortages across various sectors and skill levels within the EU. It highlighted the ongoing challenge of labour shortages amid a low unemployment rate (6.0% as of September 2023) and a job vacancy rate that surged to 2.9% last year, more than double the 2012 level. Demographic shifts further compound these labour market challenges, with the working-age population expected to decrease from 265 million in 2022 to 258 million in 2030.
“Collaborating on labour migration with non-EU partners can be mutually beneficial, fostering expertise exchange and financial support for the origin country’s economy.”
“The EU’s commitment to addressing labour shortages commences domestically, with unwavering efforts to enhance the skills of the EU workforce, leveraging untapped potential for the single market’s benefit,” affirmed the Commission. However, it stressed that attracting and retaining global talent is imperative to fill existing skill gaps. “Collaborating on labour migration with non-EU partners can be mutually beneficial, fostering expertise exchange and financial support for the origin country’s economy.”
EU Talent Pool as ‘facilitator’
The EU Talent Pool is positioned as a facilitator for swift and simplified international recruitment, broadening employers’ access to a diverse array of skills and talents. Member states have the option to voluntarily participate in the EU Talent Pool, lending their support to platform management. The platform also serves as an information hub on recruitment and migration procedures within member states, incorporating robust safeguards to ensure fair recruitment practices and working conditions.
This approach is anticipated to discourage irregular migration, aligning with enhanced cooperation on readmission.
Furthermore, the EU Talent Pool will play a key role in implementing Talent Partnerships—a bespoke collaboration with non-EU countries, offering opportunities for work or training mobility. Jobseekers emerging from these partnerships will be issued a Talent Partnership Pass, visible to participating employers, certifying their qualifications. This approach is anticipated to discourage irregular migration, aligning with enhanced cooperation on readmission.
Europe on the Move
In parallel, the Commission recommends a set of measures to streamline and expedite the recognition of skills and qualifications of third-country nationals. This initiative seeks to modernise the existing EU recognition system, aligning it more closely with the framework for EU nationals moving across member states.
Simultaneously, the proposed Council Recommendation ‘Europe on the move – learning mobility opportunities for everyone‘ aspires to elevate mobility across all education and training domains. Member states are encouraged to integrate EU learning mobility into educational pathways, spanning school education, vocational training, higher education, and adult education, including youth exchanges.
The Recommendation ‘Europe on the Move’ is slated for submission to the Council for consideration and adoption.
The Commission’s proposal for the EU Talent Pool will undergo negotiations with the European Parliament and the Council. Support for member states’ implementation of the Recommendation on the recognition of qualifications for third-country nationals will be provided, accompanied by invitations to report on national initiatives, reforms, good practices, and statistics. The Recommendation ‘Europe on the Move’ is slated for submission to the Council for consideration and adoption.