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Craftmanship and skills for the future

The impact of global drivers of change and innovation (automation, digitalisation, climate change, demographic change, etc.) on the transformation of skills needs has already been widely recognised. It is well-understood that manual jobs are more likely to disappear, while digital skills are of increasing importance. However, little research has been conducted on how these drivers actually contribute to transformation within a company, particularly in relation to skills needs and skills utilisation. Therefore, the ETF has launched its Skills for the Future programme and methodology, through which it aims to understand how a global driver impacts skills demand in a particular sector and its particular companies.

Our study analysed how global drivers affect skills transformation in the crafts and design sector in eight of ETF partner countries: Albania. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. The differences in how this sector is defined and conceptualised in the eight countries, as well as its highly informal nature in many of them made this a highly interesting comparative assignment.

The project comprised two phases:

  • In Phase 1, the research team prepared Sectoral Portraits for each country, to better understand the crafts and design sector from a macro, meso, and micro-level perspective. the team will also mapped the main stakeholders and associations representing this sector in each country.
  • In Phase 2, the research team selected four countries for in-depth research, namely Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Uzbekistan. The team applied ETF's methodology to determine the main drivers affecting innovation, employment and skills in the sector and conducted interviews and focus groups to determine how skills needs are transforming as a result. Additionally, the team worked with ETF and the Michelangelo Foundation to invite crafts associations from the eight selected countries to the Homo Faber event. 

The research team was supported by eight national experts representing each selected country and the quality of all work is assured by an peer review independent review. The final reports provide evidence on the transformation of skills needs in the crafts and design sector in ETF partner countries. Based on this the ETF can design tailored interventions and support programmes to increase the ability of education institutions to respond to the changing demand of skills.