CEMA stresses the importance to better define farmers’ job profiles and upgrade skills


The European Commission has organised several roundtables for specific sectors on the issue of upskilling or reskilling the European workforce to better deliver on the ambitious goals set by the Green Deal  and the digital transformation of European and global economy.  

Last 18th of February was focused on the Agri-food Ecosystem. Nicolas Schmit, EU Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights and Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, led the discussions.

To achieve the ambitious goals, and support SMEs’ that make 99% of all business and provide 60% of the jobs in Europe, a joint effort from all sectors needs to be done on upskilling and reskilling EU workforce, both commissioners said. To do so, the main funding support would go through the Member States with the CAP and the transition funds. The two commissioners explicitly invited all actors, public and private, to support and join the Pact for Skills launched in 2020*.

All participants from farmers to large food processor companies agreed on the need to have more adequate and upgraded skills, together with life-long learning programmes, with the overall aim to increase job attractiveness in rural areas.

Ivo Hostens CEMA Technical Director, intervened on behalf of the ag machinery industry. He stressed the need to upgrade job profiles for farmers and present new job opportunities within agriculture based on the uptake and evolution of digital farming tools. This also applies to agricultural machinery companies, where we can find plenty of SMEs’, often located in rural areas, which are also suffering from the brain drain towards cities. Specifically for the ag machinery sector, wanted future skills will go along with technology developments linked to the digital transformation of the farming sector. The increased used of  electrification, automation and AI in the ag machines is creating a new set of skills that will need to be covered in the years to come.

In name of EurAgEng, there was also a call for support on harmonised curricula to avoid a divide of skills in Europe.

*Everything you need to know from who can join the Pact and what are the principles to be followed can be found here [link: Pact for Skills - Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion - European Commission (europa.eu)]