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Social Dialogue

Attracting and retaining skilled personnel throughout the entire processing chain is fundamental for the success and competitiveness of our companies in the furniture sector, especially as they navigate the challenges of an increasingly global market. A highly skilled workforce is essential, capable of creatively incorporating new skills and competencies, working with diverse materials, and leveraging the potential for innovative combinations. Despite SMEs' efforts to address these needs through measures like internal talent mobility, increased training investments, and job attractiveness enhancements, labor shortages and a lack of skilled workers persist as significant challenges.

EFIC, as an active participant in the EU Social Dialogue

alongside the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) and the European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI-Bois), recognizes the importance of collaborative efforts in finding solutions to common labour challenges. Social Partners closely follow EU initiatives on Industry Policy, Digitalisation, Health & Safety, Circular Economy, and Education & Training, among others. They collaborate to address the challenges and opportunities that the green transition and digitalization bring to the furniture sector and its workers.

EFIC's involvement in EU-funded projects such as SAWYER, Digit-Fur and FurnCIRCLE further underscores its commitment to addressing skills needs related to the transition to the circular economy and digitalization. To effectively tackle these challenges and safeguard the sector's competitiveness, increased collaboration among industry stakeholders, public employment services, technical institutes, universities, and schools is essential. This collaboration aims to develop better tools for assessing both applicants' skills and companies' needs, identifying emerging skills requirements, and monitoring labour supply and demand dynamics. Furthermore, fostering collaboration between social partners, training institutes, national governments, and EU institutions is vital for crafting and implementing effective policies.

Policy actions should focus on recognizing qualifications, investing in professional education, facilitating upskilling, and providing continuous learning opportunities. Specialized courses on innovative aspects such as circular economy principles and sustainable practices can enhance workers' competencies and adaptability to evolving industry demands. Additionally, promoting the attractiveness of Vocational Education Training (VET) and supporting cross-border cooperation, such as through programs like Erasmus+, can help address disparities among Member States and enhance apprenticeship mobility.


Check our Manifesto 2024-2029 for more
detailed recommendations 

For more information check out our Position Papers & News sections

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