EC to investigate ways of easing labour transition

The
European Commission is setting up a skills and mobility task- force seeking to
reduce barriers to the movement of workers in the European labour market.

The
commission intends to present an action plan to the European Council in spring
2002, including proposals for a more flexible regime for recognising
professional qualifications and measures to simplify the transfer of pensions
across Europe. The task force was a key propo-sal at the EU Stockholm Summit.

Susan
Gibas, secretary general for the European HR network welcomed the taskforce
move.

She
said, “It’s a good idea as the commission is looking at the problem from the
top level of industry. To have a truly mobile workforce, people must be able to
use their qualifications outside their member states.”

She
added, “One of the major barriers to moving workers across Europe is the
difficulties employers face when transferring pension entitlements.”

The
European skills shortages is acute in the IT, financial services, and telecoms
sectors, with 81 per cent of employers expecting the problem to worsen over the
next 12 months, according to a TMP worldwide survey. 

Fiona
Birt-Llewellin, European HR director for TMP Worldwide said, “It’s an
enormously positive step by the commission to set up a taskforce to address
this issue.”

The
survey of 350 senior managers across Europe found that 78 per cent believe that
cross-border recruiting would ease the skill shortage.

Andrew
Grant, European CEO of TMP Worldwide’s e-resourcing division, said, “In many
cases it is not that Europe doesn’t have the skills, just that they are in the
wrong place.”

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