• Jobs, Skills & Impact

European Reskilling initiative R4E gathers key partners in Gothenburg

Gothenburg, 17 October 2023: Today, experts from all over Europe in HR, public affairs, education and communication are gathering for a two-day workshop in Gothenburg. The meeting is organised by Reskilling 4 Employment (R4E), a reskilling initiative from the European Round Table for Industry, and the hosts for the workshop are AstraZeneca and Volvo Group.

The green transition in Europe is in full swing, while the development with digitisation and automation is accelerating rapidly. These changes drive forward new technologies, new processes and demand new skills, making the issue of reskilling increasingly relevant and urgent.

R4E aims to mobilise and connect companies, job seekers, authorities and education providers, to create opportunities for individuals to acquire new skills and switch career paths. It’s about equipping millions of people for tomorrow, contributing to a more inclusive job market, and securing the skill base that Europe needs.

At the workshop in Gothenburg, experiences from the Swedish job market will be discussed, as well as exploring both already established and new national R4E programs from different countries participating in the initiative. The ambition is to take R4E to the next level.

Speaking at the workshop Per Alfredsson, President of AstraZeneca in Sweden said “Digitisation and automation simplify the lives of millions of people and increase the productivity of companies, but they also pose significant challenges in the job market. Demands for entirely new skills are emerging, and millions of people need to be reskilled to be prepared for the future job market. AstraZeneca wants to take responsibility, be a part of the solution, and we are extremely pleased to host this workshop for the R4E program.”

Addressing the meeting, Diana Niu, Head of People & Culture at Volvo Group said “Sweden has a long established tradition of inviting and engaging its people towards industrial evolutions and revolutions. The technologies at the Volvo Group’s products have changed radically in the past years, so naturally the skills we require in all dimensions need to be shifted too. The response involves a mix of internal reskilling, but also supporting training that provides opportunities to others out in the markets to reskill to more in-demand professions. Being part of R4E helps us partner with others in this endeavor and also continue our commitment to the prosperity of society and the world.

Companies involved

At present, ERT companies championing the programme include AstraZeneca, Volvo Group, Iberdrola, Leonardo, Nestlé, Nokia, SAP, Solvay, Sonae, Techint Group, Telefónica, and TITAN Cement. R4E is active in 8 countries.

R4E aims to accommodate each active country-initiative with a dedicated website – complete with translations into the national language – connecting unemployed and at-risk workers with opportunities to acquire new skills and change career path.

This week’s in-person meeting in Gothenburg brings together relevant experts from a range of major European companies, as well as representatives from employment agencies, the ERT Secretariat and McKinsey & Co, the lead knowledge partner of the programme.

Initially launched in May 2021 under the leadership of Paulo Azevedo, Chairman of Sonae, R4E has been developed by the European Round Table for Industry (ERT). In doing so, the high level forum of 60 CEOs & Chairs of European companies seeks to facilitate the creation of reskilling partnerships with the goal of connecting reskilling providers, employers and jobseekers.

The R4E website is at: https://reskilling4employment.eu/.