Register NOW for the critical friend review on tackling skills mismatch and developing 21st century skills, in Ghent, on 14-15 November

  • economy
start date
end date
het Havenhuis, Graslei 14, 9000 Gent
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EUROCITIES WG Employment is meeting in Ghent, on 14-15 November, to discuss on ‘how cities can tackle the skills mismatch and develop 21st century skills?'.


Labour markets are evolving quickly, with new opportunities and new challenges arising from globalisation, the digital revolution, changing work patterns and societal and demographic developments. The fast transformation of the labour markets is producing substantial challenges like retraining working people, learning new (digital) skills and upskilling the one further from the labour market.
Cities are taking innovative actions to address the skills mismatch and inclusion in the labour markets for all their citizens. In the context of EUROCITIES campaign ‘Inclusive Cities For All: Social Rights in my City’ cities show their contribution to a more cohesive and inclusive Europe starting from the local level. Mayors and deputy mayors have pledged to act on the principles of European Pillar of Social Rights in line with cities’ strategic objectives. Ten of the cities have pledged with concrete measures to address the mismatch of skills at local level and to adopt measures to make the labour markets more inclusive.  
EUROCITIES is organising a mutual learning visit to Ghent to learn from the city’s practices on addressing the skills mismatch and to develop 21st century skills. Ghent has taken the lead in an Interreg project- 'Skills Navigator. The project aims at tackling the skills mismatch in the harbour regions of the Flemish-Dutch river delta. The main goal is to look at the challenge from employers' perspective and find solutions to fill the vacancies.
This activity is part of EUROCITIES mutual learning programme to support cities implement the EU Pillar of Social Rights with support from the EU programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSi) under the strategic partnership with the European Commission DG EMPL. The CFR will focus on mutual learning activities for cities to implement principle 1 on education, training and long-life learning and principle 4 on active support to employment of the European Pillar of Social Rights.

Theme of the meeting

Ghent is leading partner in the Interreg project ‘Skills Navigator’ (January 2018- December 2020) which aims at tackling the skills mismatch in the harbour regions of the Flemish-Dutch Delta in close cooperation with the employers. Despite a high number of job vacancies, the unemployment rate of the regions remains high. Skills Navigator is a big partnership consisting of 14 organizations as full partner (co-financers) and other interested actors. Among those, three cities have an active role in the project - Ghent (leader), Antwerp and Rotterdam.
The project is helping the city to define what are the relevant 21st century skills for the region. The aim is to have a reference point to enable young people to screen their21st century skills and to work through employers arrangements to upskill young jobseekers. It also targets the employers in order to raise awareness on the meaning of 21st century skills.  The aim is to engage them in design various and innovative solutions for job training.


Arrival day – Wednesday, 13 November

·         Informal dinner


Day 1 – Thursday, 14 November

  • Opening remarks
  • Setting the context of skills mismatch in Flanders/Ghent
  • Presentation of the project 'Skills Navigator'
  • Update from EU institutions on skills mismatch and 21st skills development
  • Background information and preparation of the Critical Friend Review Process
  • Site visit to skills development practices part of the ‘Skills Navigator’ practice 

Day 2 – Friday, 15 November

  • Opening of day by Mathias De Clercq, mayor of Ghent
  • Presentation by North Sea Port (port authority in Gent) on the cross-border labour market in the harbour North Sea Port
  • Pitching ideas for ESF-project ‘House of Skills’ in Ghent
  • Presentations of cities on practices in which the skills gap/skills mismatch between demand and offer of labour are being resolved with the employers as key actors
  • Critical Friend Review
  • Business meeting

Expected outcomes

Considering the common challenges that cities face at local level, the objectives of this meeting are to:
1      Gain in-depth understanding of Ghent’s strategy and practice addressing the skills mismatch and the development of 21st century skills, learning from ‘Skills Navigator’ and ‘House of skills’ projects;
2      Analyse the strengths, opportunities and challenges of Ghent’s practice to suggest improvements and extract transferable elements for your city;
3      Advise the host city on possible follow-up actions based on your expertise on skills research, working with and engaging employers and screening of 21st century skills;
4      Network with other city experts on employment;
5      Exchange of knowhow on implementation of principles 1 and 4 of European Pillar of Social Rights.

Apply now to be one of the critical friend reviewers! 

We are searching for 3 cities that are committed to work on providing friendly feedback to Ghent on their practices on addressing the skills mismatch and developing 21st century skills. We are expecting cities that have already implemented a policy or projects in this area and are willing to share their experience and advise the host city on how to improve their action.
If selected, EUROCITIES will reimburse the travel costs, accommodation and subsistence costs for up to two representatives from your city participating at the study visit (up to certain thresholds that we will communicate to you, in line with EU funding guidelines).
Cities are invited to apply until 31 October, by completing the application form below and sending it to

Register until 4 November, here: !

   Skills Navigator Presentaion_WG EMPL CFR on skills mismatch and 21 century skills development, 14-15 November, Ghentdownload/preview this file
    Skills Navigator_21st century skills for major ports and surrounding areas_Synthesis Report_ENdownload/preview this file
    PRACTICAL INFORMATION _WG EMPL CFR on skills missmatch and 21 century skills development, 14-15 November, Ghentdownload/preview this file
    FINAL_AGENDA__WG_EMPL_CFR_on_skills_mismatch_and_21_century_skills_development__14-15_November__Ghentdownload/preview this file
    CALL _WG EMPL CFR on skills mismatch and 21 century skills development, 14-15 November, Ghentdownload/preview this file
    CONCEPT_WG EMPL CFR on skills mismatch and 21 century skills development 14-15 November Ghentdownload/preview this file
    Critical_Friend_Reviewer_Bristol_practicedownload/preview this file
    Critical_Friend_Reviewer_Lyon_practicedownload/preview this file
    Critical_Friend_Reviewer_Madrid_practicedownload/preview this file
    Critical_Friend_Reviewer_Netwerkstad_Twente_practicedownload/preview this file
    PPT D1 Skills navigatordownload/preview this file
    PPT D1 Shaping the future of work AGORIAdownload/preview this file
    PPT D1 Volvo Car Academy_TEO programmedownload/preview this file
    PPT D2 Labour market in North Sea Portdownload/preview this file
    PPT D2 North Sea Port - economic impactdownload/preview this file
    PPT D2 WG employment_Business meeting_Ghentdownload/preview this file
    WG Employment updatesdownload/preview this file
    EUROCITIES Report on ESF 2014-2018download/preview this file

EUROCITIES staff contact

Patricia Couti