TCLF Skills Alliance: From Pact to Action in the Blueprint Metaskills4TCLF project!

TCLF Skills Alliance: From Pact to Action in the Blueprint Metaskills4TCLF project!
On the 21st of November, the European Footwear Confederation (CEC) together with the Confederation of National Associations of Tanners and Dressers of the European Community (Cotance) and the European Apparel and Textile Confederation (Euratex) co-organised the kick-off meeting of the Textile, Clothing, Footwear and Leather (TCLF) Skills Alliance, the union of all categories of stakeholders, private and public, of the TCLF industries committed to work for upgrading the skills needs and corresponding training of TCLF workers at regional, national and EU levels under different initiatives.

The collaboration began in December 2021 when the three EU umbrella organisations and 115 stakeholders signed the Pact for Skills Charger for the Textiles, Clothing, Leather and Footwear (TCLF) sectors, setting up objectives and activities to perform in terms of training and education systems in the next years. One of the relevant initiatives to achieve this goal and presented during the workshop was the Blueprint Metaskills4TCLF project that brings together 21 partners from eleven European countries, and started on the 1st of September. This Blueprint project, named by the European Commission for those Erasmus+ project with a strategic projection on education, intends to improve existing skills (upskilling) and training on new skills (reskilling), upgrade education and lifelong learning, and promote public-private collaboration at national and regional levels. In addition, partners will develop tailor-made training and mentoring programmes to facilitate the digital and sustainable transition of TCLF companies.

The event started with the intervention of European Commission officers, Sonia De Melo Xavier from DG Employment, and Marie-Hélène Pradines, from DG Grow who reminded participants of the main objectives of the TCLF Skills Alliances, and stressed that this year was very special in terms of improving and renewing skills because it was the European Year of Skills, which aims to help workers acquire the right skills for quality jobs, while helping companies address skills shortages in the European Union.

The final part of the event was devoted to two panels with regional industry representatives: one on best practices in regional skills collaboration in which the Metaskills4TCLF partners of the Valencian Region and the Municipality of Prato presented the ongoing work to develop and implement their regional/local Pact for Skills, respective for the footwear and textile sectors. The second panel was dedicated to present successful examples of initiativesfor increasing the attractiveness of professional careers in the TCLF sectors for young people, and there the Portuguese Footwear association, also partner of the Metaskills4TCLF project, presented their continuous work in this relation. Finally, all the success stories gave participants an overview of other ongoing and related initiatives, and ideas and guidelines to replicate some of the practices in other regions in Europe. It is relevant to remember that each region has different industrial landscape within the TCLF industries, and skills collaboration supports and helps other regions to design their priorities and move forwards a more competitive industry.