On the 5th of May 2022, during the Strasbourg "Social Economy, the Future of Europe" summit, the Skills partnership for the Proximity & Social Economy ecosystem was launched.

The partnership is established under the EU Pact for Skills; similar commitments have already been made for other industrial ecosystems. It has been developed by the Social Economy and Proximity Alliance – an initiative led by Social Economy Europe (SEE) and European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA) in cooperation with the European Commission and with the participation of several other partners, including CECOP.  

CECOP wholeheartedly welcomes this new initiative that focuses on the upskilling and reskilling of social economy workers. Today, skill mismatch and skill development are one of the key challenges of the labor market and particularly affect SMEs. In particular, it is important to invest not only in workers’ specialized skills but also in their training on democratic governance of the enterprises.  

This initiative is following in the footsteps of the European Skills Agenda and European Action Plan for the social economy, published by the European Commission in July 2020 and December 2021 respectively. 

The ambition of the Skills partnership for the Proximity & Social Economy ecosystem is threefold:  

  • Better identify the statistical information on the up-/re-skilling of social economy’s employees and entrepreneurs. 
  • Identify key areas and needs in terms of up-/re-skilling. 
  • Mobilize public and private capital in upskilling and reskilling to enable the up-/re-skilling of 5% of the workforce and entrepreneurs per year. 

To achieve these goals, the partners commit to: 

  1. Increase the number of stakeholders involved and geographical coverage of the EU Pact for Skills
  2. Develop reskilling and upskilling activities which would include social economy entrepreneurs, and work on attracting talent to the social economy  
  3. Improve our understanding of the skills development for the proximity and social economy ecosystem  
  4. Provide financial and non-financial contributions to skills development activities