BRUSSELS—The tire and rubber industry is undergoing a core transition, from digitalization to greener transport and a circular economy.
Its workers will need new skills to accompany that transformation.
That's the reasoning behind the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers' Association's decision to join more than 40 European automotive value chain organizations in supporting the European Commission Pact for Skills.
"The COVID-19 crisis made this process all the more urgent and up/re-skilling our workforce will be essential to support the recovery and the competitiveness of the industry," ETRMA secretary general Fazilet Cinaralp said in an Oct. 15 statement.
Drawn up in view of a recent EC decision to launch "sectorial pacts for skills," the strategy aims at grouping key public and private stakeholders to continue delivering the work started by the Erasmus+ DRIVES* Partnership through deploying regional pilot projects.
"These could be launched immediately under dedicated public-private partnership for education and training in automotive," said the industry bodies.
According to ETRMA, the work of DRIVES has helped "tremendously" by defining the new skills and job roles needed to prompt the future of automotive value chain.
The initiative, it said, connects and brings together industry and training providers as well as the most appropriate formats to deliver them across the EU.
"ETRMA welcomes and supports the steps taken by European Commissioners Thierry Breton [Internal Market] and Nicolas Schmit [Jobs and Social Rights] concerning the development of such a [dedicated skills] pact in the form of a private-public partnership to support the automotive value chain in retaining and developing the jobs, skills and competences," the ETRMA statement said.
The move, it said, will help "multiply the effects" of the investments made today by ETRMA members to support workforce and be prepared for the industry of tomorrow.
* The Development and Research on Innovative Vocational Educational Skills project (DRIVES) is funded by the Erasmus+ Sector Skills Alliances Programme. It started in 2018 and will finish in December 2021.