Craft and micro enterprises are not only the vast majority of SMEs in Europe, they are also the main source of job creation in the European Union. Although in general they face similar problems as all other SMEs, their size causes a number of specific challenges, in particular related to the availability of (future) skilled staff. Many micro and craft enterprises face severe recruitment difficulties, mainly due to the shortage of skilled labour as a consequence of the demographic trends, but partly also for other reasons: Craft and micro businesses appear to be less attractive employers than larger companies, especially to young people, and recruitment policies of craft and micro businesses may need to be adjusted to attract new target groups and to provide them with the skills and qualifications needed.
The project "Identification of future skills needs in micro and craft(-type) enterprises up to 2020" won the call for tenders of the EU-commission GD Enterprise and Industry.
Now the team, which consists of a core-team (FBH, ibw and wmp) and 8 national partners (responsible for the field-phases in their country) aims at contributing to a better understanding of the current and future skills needs of micro and craft(-type) enterprises in Europe and to a better integration of these needs in existing policy initiatives at EU level. In particular, the study integrates into the "New Skills for New Jobs" initiative and is expected to support the implementation of the "Small Business Act for Europe". Finally, the study's findings with regard to skills development in micro and craft -(type) enterprises will also contribute to the "Europe 2020" economic employment strategy and stronger orientation towards smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.