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Analysis of the round table-workshop: Professional skills of the future in Catalonia - Industry


A round table-workshop on Professional skills of the future in Catalonia - Industry held on 7 March brought together representatives from a large number of firms and enterprises in the industry sector at an event aimed at encouraging brain-storming and discussion about the professional teaching and work-related skills that need to be developed in university-level education systems in order to anticipate the skills that will be necessary in the labour market in the coming years and establish the essential foundations for setting in place a prospective professional skills system in Catalonia.

The keynote speakers were Sergio Alcaraz and Laura Carnicero, whose presentations were followed by two round tables, one on the field of vocational and professional training, chaired by Mercè Chacón, advisor to the Catalan Ministry for Enterprise and Knowledge for cross-disciplinary projects, and a second one on professional skills in higher education, chaired by Josep Joan Moreso, president of AQU Catalunya.

The round table-workshop provided the opportunity for a diagnosis to be made of the state of professionals working in the field, in which two main challenges stand out:

  • The first challenge in training professionals in this field has to do with technical or hard skills. In this regard, there is the need for increased training in simulation, robotics, big data, the internet of things, cybersecurity, digital manufacturing, virtual reality and to improve value chain integration;
  • The second challenge refers to social or soft skills. In order for enterprises to be capable of leading change (innovation ecosystems), there is the need for increased dynamism, flexibility, entrepreneurship, the ability to deal in and with diverse work environments, hyperconnectivity, the use of collaborative methods, digital channels, specialisation management, and personalised user and customer engagement.

A number of suggestions for government were also put forward during the round table-workshop regarding increased coordination for training and work strategy; the mismatch between courses with the highest demand and the professions that offer the most opportunities; training and continuing professional development; improvements to the match between training and workforce needs in terms of the structuring of content and methodologies; and the need to promote generalist degree courses.

The event, which was held at the Palau Robert (Sala Cotxeres), was organised jointly by the Secretaria d'Empresa i Competitivitat, the Consell Català de Formació Professional, the Direcció General d'Anàlisi i Prospectiva and AQU Catalunya.