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Future skills needs in micro and craft(-type) enterprises up to 2020

International comparative research project

Study for the European Commission, Wien, 2011
Buschfeld D., Dilger B., Heß L., Schmid K., Voss E.

Micro and craft(-type) enterprises make up not only the vast majority of SMEs in Europe, they are also the main source of job creation. Although they face similar problems to those encountered by all other SMEs, their size creates a number of specific challenges, in particular related to the (future) availability of skilled staff. Against this background, the European Commission commissioned a study in eight countries (including Austria) focusing on the identification and analysis of future skill needs in micro and craft(-type) companies.

From an overall perspective, the following skill needs will increase in future: customer and market orientation, working in cooperative and collaborative international work structures, and management skills. Yet, companies often identify future skill needs sector-specific, with trends closely linked to the sector’s key change drivers.

Companies, business organizations, and training institutes all agree on the need to increase skill levels in the future, though different perspectives are emphasised: Companies highly rate skills related to core work processes and management aspects. Business organizations highlight work organization skills, whereas training institutions put a greater emphasis on personal skills.

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