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European Commission Representation in Cyprus
Press release6 May 2022Representation in Cyprus1 min read

New Pact for Skills partnership to bolster skills in the proximity and social economy sector

Visit of CEOs of the European Apparel and Textile Confederation (EURATEX) and of the Union of Textile Industries (UIT), to the European Commission

Today, with the support of the Commission, social economy organisations, impact investors, microfinance providers, ethical and cooperative banks, vocational education and training providers, as well as regions, set up a large-scale partnership for skills development in the Proximity and Social Economy industrial ecosystem. The sector represents more than 6% of the EU’s working population. The partnership aims to improve the level of key skills including digital skills, social entrepreneurship skills and capacity-building skills. The initiative pledges to mobilise public and private capital to enable the upskilling and reskilling of 5% of the workforce and entrepreneurs of the sector each year to tackle the green and digital transitions in the social economy. This new partnership comes just months after the Commission presented its Social Economy Action Plan which aims to increase the sector’s visibility and create the right conditions for social economy organisations to start up and scale up. Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said: “Through innovative and inclusive business models, the Proximity and Social economy ecosystem has greatly contributed to the EU’s resilience and its green and digital transitions. Thanks to the Pact for Skills, each industrial ecosystem is now working together to equip themselves with the right skills to address today’s economic and social challenges. Today’s partnership for skills will provide life-long learning opportunities for social economy entrepreneurs and organisations.” Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, said: “Thanks to its strong local roots, the social economy can offer innovative bottom-up solutions to many of the global challenges of today, such as climate change, digitisation and social exclusion by putting people’s needs at the centre. The social economy works with and for local communities and has a huge job creating potential. One of the aims of the action plan we presented last December is to increase the sector’s visibility and appeal to young entrepreneurs: this partnership for skills will help do exactly that.” The partnership is part of the Pact for Skills, one of the flagship initiatives under the European Skills Agenda. The skills partnership also complements other important initiatives to strengthen the social economy ecosystem, including the creation of a transition pathway to support the ecosystem’s green and digital transition as well as its resilience, in line with the objectives set out in the EU’s Updated Industrial Strategy.


Publication date
6 May 2022
Representation in Cyprus