Skills Navigator – Getting the right technician for the job

The Flemish – Dutch Delta stands for an employment of around 5 million people. Due to the digitisation, automation and robotisation of the port sector, there is a strong increase in demand for higher technical profiles. On the one hand, this opens up unprecedented opportunities for all economic sectors in and around the port areas, but on the other hand it poses major challenges for both the labour market and education. If the region wants to maintain its position as a forerunner in innovation, it must be able to deliver the right people with the necessary’ 21st century skills’.

However, the lists of bottlenecks from VDAB and UWV highlight the shortage of technical profiles. From maintenance mechanic technicians to technicians to technical leaders, it remains a challenge for employers in the region to find a sufficient number of skilled workers with a technical background. The fact that too few young people choose technical training and the growing demand for replacement due to the ageing population exacerbates the problem. With the input of 14 partners, Skills Navigator ensures an optimal match between labour demand and supply. In doing so, she focuses on building up the necessary digital skills of both school-age young people and (re)entering the labour market between 16 and 26 years of age. For the participating port areas in Antwerp, Ghent, Terneuzen and Rotterdam, the project maps out the required skills of today and the future.

Employers can also use various employer arrangements to bridge the gap between job-seekers, training and their own workplace.  All forms of workplace learning are examined, from the employer in the classroom to teaching on the shop floor. Existing initiatives such as the Youth Agreements in the Netherlands will be examined, as well as Engage+ in Antwerp, where employers and young people are brought closer together by means of education and training courses for employers. Based on existing experience, a shared methodology for setting up new employer arrangements in the border region will be developed. In addition, an online job vacancy application for this specific target group will be developed and integrated on the websites of VDAB and UWV.

This project was financed under the Interreg V programme Flanders-Netherlands, the cross-border cooperation programme with financial support from the European Regional Development Fund. More info: www.grensregio.eu

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

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