Identifying and Meeting Digital Skills Needs in the European Chemical, Pharmaceutical, Rubber, and Plastics Industry

Social Partner Initiative to prepare the Sector now and for the Future

Project results:


Mobility & Mentoring

Increasing the Employment of Young Workers in the European Chemical Industry

Mobility of Young Workers in the Chemical Industry

Stimulating Voluntary Mobility of Young Workers in the Chemical Industry in the EU

Social Partner Mentoring-strategies for an increased employment of young workers in the chemical industry after the crisis

ECEG, industriAll Europe, and FECCIA, representing the chemical sector within the EU 28, have embarked on a new project funded by the European Commission. The aim of the project is to encourage young workers who look for employment opportunities in the chemical industry to increase their voluntary mobility to seek job opportunities across Europe. The focus lies on offering these workers qualified support through a dedicated mentoring network, supported by both employees and employers, to help them to improve their working life.

The deliverables of the project include:

- a Mobility Mentoring Portal (MMP) which allows young workers who voluntarily look for employment opportunities in the chemical industrie to connect with a relevant mentor within the EU country (or countries) this worker is considering moving to

- the collation of current mobility patterns of young workers in the chemical sector within the EU 28 and the underlying reasons for it.

- an E-handbook in the most relevant European languages for mentors to help training them in their respective tasks and responsibilities

- the organization of four Mobility Mentoring Workshops (MMW) at which a number of the identified mentors will take part and during which the e-handbook will be tested and optimized

- the organization of two international conferences for discussing the issues and the project results, and to exchange best practices on mentoring programs

Lifelong Learning Project 'Leonardo da Vinci'

Leonardo Learn Partnership ‘Women in Leadership Positions’ successfully completed

Four members of FECCIA, CFE CGC Chimie, VAA, AMPS and Ledarna, together with the German management training institute FKI, have sucessfully completed a two year Leonardo Learn Partnership funded by the European Commission. The project partners developed the syllabus for a Europe-wide workshop ‘Women in Leadership Positions’ for managers and professionals to promote and help women to successfully pursue a management career in the European chemical industry. The results – which also include a coach handbook and extensive training material for the workshop – are to a large extent based on face-to-face interviews with and responses to a dedicated questionnaire from women who have had a successful career in the sector, and were created by the core group of the project partners during eight working meetings in the participating countries between October 2013 and June 2015.

FECCIA fully supported the efforts of the project partners and was able to contribute relevant facts, figures and further information. These include the two major studies The Impact of Demographic Change on the Chemical Industry in Europe, by Prof T. Tivig, and National policies to support the reconciliation of employment, childcare and the care of older family members. A comparative review to inform personnel policies in the European chemical industry, by Prof C. Fagan and Dr H. Norman, which were themselves results of two major EU-funded projects that FECCIA undertook together with the two social partners in the European chemical industry, ECEG and industriAll Europe. 

Further information on the Leonardo partnership and its results can be found on


VAA Leonardo

Children - Care - Career: Equal Participation of Women in the European Chemical Industry

The proportion of female workers in the European chemical industry is lower than in most other industries. The demographic study carried out by ECEG, industriAll Europe and FECCIA has shown that there is a large unutilized potential of female workers in the chemical industry which is set to grow even more in the future.

This potential must be activated in order to achieve the desired equal opportunities in the medium term, and thus, as a positive synergy effect, to lessen the negative impact of demographic change on the chemical industry in Europe. What we need to do is devise and implement strategies for combining training opportunities, jobs and careers with raising children and the increasing need to look after elderly parents and other family members.

IndustriAll Europe, ECEG and FECCIA plan to maintain a collective dialogue and take on this challenge by way of this project supported by the European Commission. The findings of this project are intended to help companies, associations and national governments from the EU 28 to develop appropriate strategies in the coming years to achieve equal participation of women in the European chemical industry.



Promotion of active ageing as a way of dealing with demographic change

The European chemical industry is a key sector for the maintenance and growth of Europe’s competitiveness. With 3.75 million employees, it alone employs 10.9 per cent of all employees involved in production in the EU. Thanks to its research, innovation and consistent growth, the chemical industry is one of the main actors in the EU economy.

Just like the economy as a whole, the chemical industry has to adapt, as a result of demographic development, to decreasing employee numbers caused by a reduction in the size of the workforce, and at the same time the average age of employees is increasing. The demographic study by ECEG, EMCEF and FECCIA showed that the age structure of employees in the chemical sector is already very different from the age structure of the active working population. The chemical industry will be seriously hit by the effects of demographic change if it does not succeed in increasing the employment quota of older workers.

With their mutual project, ‘Active ageing in the European chemical industry‘, ECEG, EMCEF and FECCIA would therefore like to develop strategies to counteract the negative effects of demographic change in the chemical industry in Europe through the promotion of active ageing. These strategies range from attractive jobs and increasing the employment quota of older employees to sustainable age management.


Demographic change in the European chemical industry

Demographic change is set to become a major concern for industry, and particularly for the highly specialised chemical industry, in Europe in the coming years. As a result of the falling birth rate over the last decades, we can expect to see a dramatic shortage of appropriately skilled workers. Restructuring processes in the near future will also mean the retirement of almost an entire age group of workers in some businesses.

The umbrella organisations for the European chemical industry - the European Mine, Chemical and Energy Workers‘ Federation (EMCEF), the European Chemical Employers Group (ECEG) and the Fédération Européenne des Cadres de la Chimie et des Industries annexes (FECCIA) - intend to confront this issue through a joint dialogue together with a project sponsored by the European Commission, "Demographic change in the European chemical industry".

Companies, associations and the national governments of the 27 EU states will all be assisted by the results of this project in developing appropriate strategies to mitigate the impact of demographic change in the next few years.