- The UfM High-Level Meeting on Skills in the Mediterranean recognized that the region has one of the youngest populations in the world and that skills are critical to leveraging the youth’s potential for bringing innovation and digitalisation to the dynamics of recovery, economic growth, decent work and social inclusion.
- Skilling, upskilling and reskilling boost employability, inclusiveness, competitiveness and growth, allowing to better address the challenges of technological and non-technological transformations such as green transition, demographic change, and digitalisation of the economy in the region, as well as addressing persistent issues of skill gaps and mismatches.
Madrid, 12 July 2023. The Union for the Mediterranean Co-Presidency organised the “UfM High-Level Meeting on Skills in the Mediterranean” in Madrid on 12 July 2023, in close cooperation with the Union for the Mediterranean and relying on the expertise of the European Training Foundation and the Anna Lindh Foundation.
Acting upon the UfM Ministerial Declaration of Marrakech 2022 and in line with the European Year of Skills 2023 (from 9 May 2023 until 8 May 2024), the meeting focused on key priority areas, including investing and diversification of investments in skills to open up to more lifelong learning opportunities, supporting transitions (demographic, green, and digital) and anticipating the future of work. It brought together a broad spectrum of partners and stakeholders involved at different levels of skills development, upskilling and reskilling, to exchange insights, experiences, and best practices to address the current opportunities and challenges ahead. It also showcased success stories of the Regional Team Europe Initiative on “Jobs through Trade and Investment”, with a focus on Pillar 2 on “Skills and Vocational Education and Training”.
Several UfM Ministers and Secretaries of State from both shores of the Mediterranean and several high-level cooperation actors shared their views during the successive panels of the Meeting, and young entrepreneurs and leaders from the Southern Mediterranean were given the floor to share their experiences and their insights with the participants on skill-related opportunities and challenges in the region. The event was inaugurated by Joaquín Perez Rey, Secretary of State for Employment and Social Economy of Spain. The opening remarks were delivered by Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights and Areej Hawamdeh, Ambassador of Jordan to Spain; followed by Princess Rym Ali, President of the Anna Lindh Foundation and Nasser Kamel, Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean.
The High-Level Meeting took place back-to-back with the 4th UfM Meeting of the UfM Community of Practice on Youth Employment in the Southern Mediterranean, which took place in Madrid on 11-12 July 2023. Both meetings form part of the UfM Roadmap for Employment and Labour 2022-2025 following the 2022 UfM Ministerial on Employment and Labour in Marrakech, Morocco. Recommendations emanating from the Meeting will guide future actions, including innovative ideas to be integrated in the Team Europe Initiative on “Jobs through Trade and Investment”.