On 8 July 2003, the UK's Labour Party government published its latest white
paper on skills. The white paper, entitled 21st century skills: realising our
potential , sets out an England-wide strategy for improving the skills and
productivity of the workforce. As such, it aims to tackle what it calls 'deep
and pervasive problems' that have resulted in the UK suffering from a
significant productivity and skills deficit relative to its major
competitors. Output per hour worked is at least 25% higher in Germany and the
USA, and over 30% higher in France, than in the UK. Only 28% of the UK
workforce have an intermediate-level qualification, compared with 51% in
France and 65% in Germany. It is also estimated that there are over 7 million
adult workers, or around 30% of the UK workforce, without a level 2
qualification or above - ie five 'good' GCSEs (exams taken at the end of
compulsory secondary education) at grades A*-C or a National Vocational
Qualification (NVQ) level 2.
On 7 July 2003, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) published a
consultation document  setting out how the UK government proposes to
implement the EU information and consultation Directive (2002/14/EC) 
(EU0204207F ), and inviting comments on draft Regulations. The approach
taken by the draft Regulations is based on a framework established in
discussions between ministers and representatives of the Confederation of
British Industry (CBI) and the Trades Union Congress (TUC), who agreed an
'outline scheme' for the implementing legislation which is incorporated in
the consultation document. The draft Regulations also take account of
responses to the DTI discussion paper published in July 2002 (UK0208101N
), and views expressed at a series of round-table discussions held around
the country. The government is now consulting on the detail of draft
Regulations, their practical operation, and the sort of guidance that
employers and employees will need in applying the new legislation. The
government has set a four-month consultation period (ie until 7 November
2003) during which interested parties may submit comments and a second set of
round-table discussions will be held.
On 29 May 2003, the Institute of Public Administration (IPA) held a human
resource management conference  in Dublin, which looked at examples of how
Ireland’s public sector organisations are responding to the challenges
posed by the current modernisation and 'change management' agenda, as
described in the sections on delivering high-quality public services
contained in the country's new national agreement, Sustaining progress 
(IE0304201N ). Public sector employers and are facing negotiations on this
modernisation agenda, and progress is expected as a 'quid quo pro' for the
recent pay increases received by public sector workers under a 'benchmarking'
exercise (IE0207203N ), which compared the pay of public servants with
that in the private sector.
/Sector Futures are specialised, targeted reports using findings from
existing foresight studies, scenario work, innovation studies and reliable
data sources. December 2003 features the third and last article in the series
on the future of information and communication technologies (ICT). It focuses
on policy issues for the future of the sector./
Communiqué is the newsletter of the Foundation It is published 6 times per year and provides up-to-date news and information on the Foundation's work and research. This issue contains the following articles: Better quality jobs will boost EU competitiveness; Social dialogue a vital tool for acceding countries in preparation for EMU; Industrial restructuring for economic and social growth; Understanding the knowledge society; Improving labour protection for economically dependent workers; Changes to the European industrial relations landscape.
The Foundation offers a wide variety of online information sources on the subject of industrial restructuring. This leaflet outlines different facets of restructuring and provides links to a large body of relevant Foundation work on this important subject. Industrial restructuring is a striking feature of the economic landscape in Europe today. Whatever the approach, restructuring represents an attempt at managing and anticipating change, simultaneously tackling issues of economic, social and environmental significance.
In May 2003, a /methods agreement/ was signed between trade unions and
management at GIAT Industries, the French arms manufacturer. The agreement
sets out a procedure and timetable for consultations over a major
restructuring plan involving large-scale job losses which the company
announced in April. In line with this procedure, a draft 'company contract',
outlining the state's commitments and GIAT's plans for the 2003-8 period, was
presented in June and criticised by the unions.
A reform of France's /UNEDIC/ unemployment insurance scheme agreed by
employers' organisations and three trade union confederations in December
2002 will substantially restrict unemployment benefit entitlements when new
eligibility rules come into force on 1 January 2004. In mid-2003, UNEDIC
issued figures indicating that cuts in entitlement will affect between
610,000 and 860,000 people currently in receipt of benefit. These figures
have fuelled new criticism from the union confederations (CGT and CGT-FO),
which did not sign the reform agreement.
In summer 2003, attempts are continuing to redeploy the 3,200 employees of
the French airline, Air Lib, which went into liquidation in February.
Meanwhile, the legal authorities and parliament have both been conducting
investigations into the circumstances surrounding the takeover and subsequent
bankruptcy of the company .
This information sheet offers a brief overview of the Foundation's new research project in the living conditions sphere. The Foundation launched a new pan-European ‘quality of life’ survey in May 2003. This project will provide new information and analysis on living conditions and quality of life issues throughout the 28 countries of the EU and its candidate countries. The first results, to be presented at the end of 2003, will draw on the survey’s findings, together with existing information from a database of comparable EU-wide data.
Eurofound’s European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) examines both the objective circumstances of European citizens' lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. This series consists of outputs from the EQLS 2003, the first edition of the survey.
Eurofound's European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) examines both the objective circumstances of European citizens' lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. This series consists of outputs from the EQLS 2007, the second edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2003.
Eurofound's European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) examines both the objective circumstances of European citizens' lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. This series consists of outputs from the EQLS 2012, the third edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2003.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the EWCS 2005, the fourth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the EWCS 2010, the fifth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
This publication series explores scenarios for the future of manufacturing. The employment implications (number of jobs by sector, occupation, wage profile, and task content) under various possible scenarios are examined. The scenarios focus on various possible developments in global trade and energy policies and technological progress and run to 2030.
This report explores the drivers of economic and social convergence in Europe, using a selected set of economic and social indicators to examine trends in the performance of individual Member States. It also investigates what role the Economic and Monetary Union plays in convergence, particularly in southern and eastern Member States. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on convergence is analysed and initial conclusions are drawn about the impact of EU recovery packages and their ability to prevent divergence.
This report analyses how working conditions, job quality and working life outcomes – such as work–life balance, health and well-being, and sustainability of work – changed between February 2020 and spring 2021. Following up on responses to the European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) 2020, it explores the differences between three distinct groups of workers: those teleworking during the COVID-19 pandemic, those who continued to work on their employers' premises as frontline staff, and those who were furloughed or worked reduced hours.
With the expansion of telework and different forms of hybrid work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for policymakers to consider both the opportunities and the negative consequences that may result. This report will explore potential scenarios for such work. In doing so, it will identify trends and drivers, and predict how they might interact to create particular outcomes and how they are likely to affect workers and businesses. Policy pointers will outline what could be done to facilitate desirable outcomes and to avoid undesirable ones.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the professional football sector. Their relative representativeness legitimises their right to be consulted, their role and effective participation in the European sectoral social dialogue and their capacity to negotiate agreements. The aim of this Eurofound’s study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the professional football sector in the EU Member States.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the textiles and clothing sector. Their relative representativeness legitimises their right to be consulted, their role and effective participation in the European sectoral social dialogue and their capacity to negotiate agreements. The aim of this Eurofound study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the textiles and clothing sector in the EU Member States.
Building on previous work by Eurofound, this report will investigate intergenerational dynamics over time. During the 2008 double-dip recession, worrying intergenerational divides appeared in many Member States, and while some of the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is universal, early data suggests disparities across demographic cohorts. Eurofound will examine how different age groups may have been affected in terms of their health, labour market participation, quality of life and financial needs, both in the short term and in the long term.
The urban-rural divide in EU countries has grown in recent years, and the depopulation of certain rural areas in favour of cities is a challenge when it comes to promoting economic development and maintaining social cohesion and convergence. Using data from Eurofound and Eurostat, this report will investigate the trends and drivers of the urban-rural divide, in various dimensions: economic and employment opportunities, access to services, living conditions and quality of life.
Adequate, affordable housing has become a matter of great concern, with an alarming number of Europeans with low or lower household incomes unable to access any, especially in capital cities. Housing was a key factor in people’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic: its quality and level of safety significantly affected how lockdowns and social distancing measures were experienced, with those who had no access to quality housing at higher risk of deteriorating living conditions and well-being.
The use of artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and the Internet of Things technologies in the workplace can bring about fundamental changes in work organisation and working conditions. This report analyses the ethical and human implications of the use of these technologies at work by drawing on qualitative interviews with policy stakeholders, input from the Network of Eurofound Correspondents and Delphi expert surveys, and case studies.