Zavod 14 is pleased to present a publication on Higher education policy reforms for the future labour market in the EU, supported by Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF). The past three years have witnessed a complex interplay of health, economic, and geopolitical uncertainties, along with increasing social and environmental pressures. These accelerating transformations have significantly altered labour markets globally, including within the European Union (EU), and influenced the demand for future jobs and skills, driving divergent economic paths in both developing and developed countries. However, recent experiences revealed that higher education has been too slow to adapt to the current and future professional profiles in the EU labour market. While the future remains uncertain, it is anticipated that the accelerated digital and green incentives, coupled with the recent health, economic, and geopolitical crises, resulting in a ‘double-disruption’ scenario on the supply side of the labour market, will substantially increase the demand for a highly skilled digital workforce.

The main objective of the publication is to identify the main challenges related to higher education policy, which does not sufficiently address the labour market trends, including the potential improvements to the existing higher education policy, which may facilitate the development of adequate knowledge and skills and activate them in the labour market. More specifically, it aims to provide a theoretical overview and examine the secondary data about the following areas considering higher education policy reforms for the future labour market in the EU: (1) higher education policy initiatives in the EU; (2) participation in higher education in the EU; (3) the transition from higher education to the labour market; (4) drivers and consequences of skills mismatch; (5) the labour market in the EU; and (6) policy recommendations. The findings derived from this publication are interesting from the academic (research and debate) and the practical (suggestions for improvements) perspective. Accordingly, the study, which is based on the literature review and analysis of the secondary data, provides international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and countries with evidence-based suggestions that may strengthen the future labour market in the EU and enhance the liberal-democratic model of society. The publication reveals that the EU will need to foster an education system that is resilient, responsive, and forward-looking, thereby equipping students with the skills and competencies needed for success in an increasingly complex and rapidly evolving labour market.

Download the full publication here:Higher Education Policy Reforms for the Future Labour Market in the EU

The publication is supported by