The role of social dialogue in skills initiatives: a case study approach
With an automotive industry racked by uncertainty and continuing competition, the stability of companies and the risk of job losses have been tackled differently across a number of European regions. In each scenario, governments, employers and the workforce, represented by the unions, have had to work together in what is termed European social dialogue. Using case studies this paper samples the approaches taken to social dialogue on the issue of skills, highlighting both positive and negative scenarios. The lessons drawn are about speed, communication and cooperation. SMEs, engaged in the supply chain projects, became involved and embraced the opportunities, with measureable training outcomes. The factory run-down scenarios demonstrate the importance of the social partners working together at the local level and acting with speed as the situation develops. Policy makers can and must react quickly to changing circumstances. Training strategies need to adapt to the life cycle of companies.