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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

European Jobs and Skills Summit 2015 – Change, innovation and technology: Skills for the future workforce

The 2015 European Jobs and Skills Summit with J.P Morgan and in association with the CIPD, will bring together employers and policymakers from the UK and across Europe to discuss how business and government can work together to train the workforce of the future.

This summit was part of New Skills at Work, an ongoing, global, multiyear programme of work that aims to address skills and employment issues, announced by J. P. Morgan in 2013.

Podcasts from this year's event:

European Jobs and Skills summitt 2015: Keynote speech from Rt Hon. Lord Willetts  View audio page

European Jobs and Skills summit 2015: Change innovation and technology  View audio page


The European labour market will see substantial disruption and change over the coming decades. Globalisation has already resulted in a major transfer of production to emerging economies, while technology has changed or replaced many jobs. This has resulted in a shift towards a service economy, with the labour force increasingly polarised between low-skilled jobs in non-tradable sectors and high-skilled ‘knowledge’ occupations.

At the same time, as the demographics of the European labour market change, people’s lifetime work and skills trajectories are changing. Particularly in the wake of the financial crisis and recession, young people are finding it increasingly difficult to get a foothold in the labour market, the proportion of the workforce employed on full-time, permanent contracts has shrunk, and older people are remaining in the workforce for longer.

Read more: European jobs and skills: A comprehensive review, 2015

What skills are needed?

Globalisation and technological change suggest that high-skilled occupations and sectors will see the greatest demand for labour in Europe, while demand for medium-level skills will see further decline. An increasing number of jobs will become automated as new technologies emerge, leading to a high demand for skills that complement technology. This will present opportunities for higher productivity and wages for some, but will also bring risks of unemployment and persistent low-pay for others.

New jobs created over the next decade will require people with entrepreneurial, scientific, creative and emotional skills, and digital skills will also be in high demand. New entrants to the labour market will require these skills to find high-quality work, but the existing and returning workforce will also need to retrain and reskill to thrive in the future labour market.

How can business and government work together to train the workforce of the future?

EU countries have been improving vocational education and training to make it more relevant to the modern labour market, but there is much more to do to equip the European labour force for the future – and, in the wake of the financial crisis, less public money to invest in the task. This demands innovative new solutions to training and workforce development, based on partnerships between government, employers, training providers and individuals.


09:15 - Registration and coffee


Emily Cadman, economics reporter, Financial Times
Viswas Raghavan, deputy chief executive officer for Europe, Middle East & Africa, J.P. Morgan
Nick Pearce, director, IPPR


Lord Willetts, chair, Resolution Foundation


Diane Coyle, founder, Enlightenment Economics
Clare Harbord, director of corporate affairs, Heathrow
Lord Willetts, chair, Resolution Foundation
Alison Wolf, Sir Roy Griffiths professor of public sector management, King's College London
Emily Cadman, economics reporter, Financial Times (chair)

11:45 - COFFEE


PANEL 1 - Developing talent: apprenticeships and vocational training for young people
Steven Bainbridge, senior analyst of European training policies, CEDEFOP
Clara Bassols, director, Fundacion Bertelsmann
Alison Fuller, professor of vocational education and work, Institute of Education, University College London
Tony Moloney, head of education & skills, National Grid Plc
Chauncy Lennon, head of workforce initiatives, JPMorgan Chase Foundation; managing director, Global Philanthropy (chair)

PANEL 2 - Retaining talent: skills and development for a flexible labour market
Peter Cheese, chief executive, CIPD
David Frost, HR director, Produce World
Clare Ludlow, director of innovation, Timewise Foundation
Nick Pearce, director, IPPR (chair)

PANEL 3 - Adapting to changing skills demands
Michael Davis, chief executive, UK Commission for Employment and Skills
Chris Warhurst, director, Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick
Patrick Werquin, professor at CNAM Paris and international consultant
Diana Fox Carney, director of strategy and engagement, IPPR (chair)

PANEL 4 - An international market for skills: attracting, managing and integrating migrant workers
Gerwyn Davies, public policy advisor, CIPD
Maria Vincenza Desiderio, policy analyst, MPI Europe
Clemens Wieland, senior project manager, Bertelsmann Stiftung
Phoebe Griffith, associate director for migration, integration and communities, IPPR (chair)


Lord Adonis
Chris Jones, chief executive, City & Guilds
Hang Ho, head of Europe, Middle East and Africa, JPMorgan Chase Foundation (chair)

13:45 - Networking lunch

Places are limited - sign up now using the form below.