EFA joins the Pact for Skills

27 June 2023

The European Year of Skills and the Pact for Skills

2023 has been designated as the European Year of Skills by the European Commission. It started officially on 9 May 2023 and will run until 8 May 2024. This initiative aims to promote and enhance skills development across Europe and represents a significant milestone to build a competitive and resilient economy. It encourages partnerships and collaboration between European Union (EU) Member States, educational institutions, businesses, and other stakeholders to increase cooperation and exchange best practices.

One of the main objectives of the European Year of Skills 2023 is to address the skills challenges faced by the EU Member States. The digital transformation, the impact of globalisation and the ongoing pandemic have created a need to upskill and reskill the workforce. The campaign aims to identify and correct skills gaps, encourage entrepreneurship and innovation, and facilitate the transition to a sustainable and inclusive economy.

Digitalisation and sustainability are two key drivers of Europe's future economic growth. The European Year of Skills 2023 highlights the importance of developing digital and green skills to ensure a skilled workforce that can thrive in the digital era and contribute to a more sustainable society.

The European Festivals Association joined the Pact for Skills in April 2023. The Pact for Skills was launched by the European Commission in 2020 as part of its broader efforts to address the skills challenges in Europe and provides a framework for cooperation and coordination among stakeholders from various sectors: governments, businesses, social partners, education, cultural and creative industries, etc. It aims to facilitate the exchange of best practices, the sharing of resources, and the scaling up of successful skills development initiatives across Europe.

EFA works on skills development

Festivals play an important role within the cultural sector. They provide a platform for artists to showcase their talents and develop their artistic skills. They bring together artists, professionals, and audiences from diverse cultural backgrounds, promoting intercultural dialogue and understanding. Festivals often collaborate with other sectors, such as politics, tourism, technology, and education.

Running a festival involves a multitude of organisational and management skills: event planning, budgeting, programming, negotiating, marketing, communication and audience engagement.

The mission of EFA is to bring together festivals from across Europe and beyond to foster collaboration, exchange knowledge, and advocate for the arts and culture.

In order to develop various skills of festival makers, EFA offers training programmes through The Festival Academy, organises workshops, and publishes resources such as the Cookbooks for Cultural managers with Pearle*.

EFA also organises summits, online meetings, and networking events where professionals can share their experience, learn from their peers and other industry experts, and stay updated on emerging trends.

The European Festivals Fund for Emerging Artists - EFFEA is another initiative of EFA that reinforces skills. EFFEA offers emerging artists a platform to develop their skills and their career on an international level through artistic residencies under festivals’ wings.

By connecting festivals between themselves and with their stakeholders - artists, cities, regions, businesses... - EFA facilitates the exchanges and sharing of expertise and best practices. This strengthens the capacity of festivals to create impactful cultural experiences while fostering the growth and advancement of skills within the cultural and creative sectors.