Craftmanship and skills for the future

The impact of global drivers of change and innovation (automation, digitalisation, climate change, demographic change, etc.) on the transformation of skills needs has already been widely recognised. It is well-understood that manual jobs are more likely to disappear, while digital skills are of increasing importance. However, little research has been conducted on how these drivers actually contribute to transformation within a company, particularly in relation to skills needs and skills utilisation. Therefore, the ETF has launched its Skills for the Future programme and methodology, through which it aims to understand how a global driver impacts skills demand in a particular sector and its particular companies. 

In the current project, the ETF wishes to learn how global drivers affect skills transformation in the crafts and design sector, in eight of its partner countries: Albania. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. The differences in how this sector is defined and conceptualised in the eight countries, as well as its highly informal nature in many of them makes it a highly interesting comparative assignment.

The project comprises two phases:

- In Phase 1, the research team will develop Sectoral Portraits for each country, to better understand the crafts and design sector from a macro-, meso-, and micro-level perspective. At this stage, the team will also review the main stakeholders and associations representing this sector in each country.

- In Phase 2, the research team will select four countries for in-depth research. The team will apply ETF's methodology to determine the main drivers affecting innovation, employment and skills in the sector and conduct interviews and focus groups to determine how skills needs are transforming as a result. Additionally, the team will work with ETF and the Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship to expand Michelangelo's network of craftsmanship associations to include members from the eight selected countries. During phase 2, the research team will identify organisations that meet Michelangelo's critera and set up two network meetings.

To meet the diversity of tasks and countries, the research team comprises not only PPMI staff, but also Cultural Economics and crafts expert Arjo Klamer, and skills and innovation expert Hanne Shapiro. The team is supported by eight national experts representing each selected country, and the quality of all work is assured by the independent review of global value chain expert Karina Fernandez-Stark and VET and skills transformation expert Andrew McCoshan.

The final results of both phases should support the ETF in understanding the transformation of skills needs in the crafts and design sector in its partner countries and allow for better tailored interventions and support programmes to increase the ability of education institutions to respond to the change in skills demand. 



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