More than 15 major companies and organisations meet on the challenge of re-skilling people

More than 15 major companies and organisations meet on the challenge of re-skilling people

Reading time: 4 min
  • The skills and competences gap is becoming a major concern for business leaders.
  • Reskilling for Employment”, an initiative promoted by the European Round Table for Industry (ERT) and its hub in Spain, aims to improve the competitiveness of Spanish talent and promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

Madrid, 26 June 2023.- The transformation of employment brought about by the digital revolution and the decarbonisation of the economy represents a paradigm shift. For this reason, executives from more than 15 large companies and leading business organisations from sectors such as technology, automotive and energy, including Ferrovial, Universia, Exolum, Tecnalia and Bcas, among others, have met at Fundación Telefónica’s 42 Madrid, with the aim of joining forces and addressing retraining plans that respond to the labour gap that is occurring between supply and demand, under the umbrella of the European project Reskilling 4 Employment (R4E), an initiative promoted by the association European Round Table for Industry (ERT).

There are currently more than 13 million unemployed people in Europe, but paradoxically, there are more than five million unfilled vacancies, especially in the digital and energy sectors, according to data from Eurostat and the European network of employment services (Eures).

In Spain, there is already a paradox in that there is a significant demand for digital or technological professionals, together with those offered by the “green” sector, which does not fill its vacancies. In this sense, in the digital sector alone, there are ~125k vacancies in Spain according to data from Telefónica’s Employment Map. Additionally, between 1.5 and 2 million people will have to change jobs in the coming years and more than 3 million will need to learn new skills, according to McKinsey & Company’s Future of Work Report.

During the conference, the attending companies expressed their commitment to reskilling and attracting talent to their sectors through the presentation of the different initiatives they have been carrying out with their employees in these areas. They also worked together in discussion sessions, presenting different ideas to create synergies and advance more effectively in the search for solutions.

Among the main conclusions of the conference was the sense of urgency in addressing this need because it implies a loss of competitiveness for companies, but also for society in general.

On the other hand, the importance of permanent monitoring of supply and demand was stressed, as new sources of employment appear, as well as the competences and skills that are in demand in the so-called “classic professions”.

With regard to training programmes, the need was stressed for them to combine technical competences with skills; for them to be scalable and for candidates to obtain a certification that enables them to continue to progress in their learning and for the training time to be adjusted as much as possible.  

R4E: Re-qualifying for employability

R4E is a European industry initiative with the aim of mobilising companies, public bodies, governments and training providers to meet the challenge of adjusting the skills needs of the productive fabric, offering the unemployed and people at risk of unemployment the possibility of retraining in professions in high demand.

In Spain, R4E is being developed by Telefónica, SAP, Iberdrola and CEOE, in addition to the collaboration of McKinsey. The R4E hub in Spain expects to continue incorporating new memberships from leading companies and business associations with the aim of extending it to other sectors and helping to reduce the mismatch between the supply and demand of skills and the attraction of talent.

R4E is already established in three countries: Portugal, Spain and Sweden, each with a national website – with translations into the national language – that connects employees and unemployed people with training programmes to acquire new skills and start new career paths.

R4E is currently progressing in Germany, Greece, Italy, Finland and France, with additional programmes planned in other EU Member States.


About the European Round Table for Industry (ERT)

The ERT is a forum that brings together some 60 CEOs and chairmen of leading multinational companies with a European parent company, covering a wide range of industrial and technological sectors. The ERT works for a strong, open and competitive Europe, with the EU and its single market as an engine for inclusive growth and sustainable prosperity. ERT member companies have combined revenues in excess of ¤2 trillion, provide direct employment for some 5 million people worldwide – half of them in Europe – and support millions of indirect jobs. They invest more than €60 billion annually in R&D, mainly in Europe.


Contact our communication department or requests additional material.

Telefónica Centenary logo Celebrate with us the Telefónica Centenary