European Chemical Industry Proposes Formalised Social Partner DialogueJoint Position Paper on Education and Lifelong Learning

This year's European Chemical Industry Social Partners Conference was held in Helsinki, Finland. At this event, the participating organisations, the European Chemical Employers' Group (ECEG) and the European Mine Chemical and Energy Workers Federation (EMCEF) announced their willingness to propose to the EU Commission to establish a formalised Sector Dialogue Committee for the chemical industry.

This was announced by EMCEF president Hubertus Schmoldt and ECEG president Hans Paul Frey to an audience of more than 100 representatives of chemical employers' organisations and unions from 22 European countries.
Chemical Industry: Europe’s Second Largest Industry Sector

The European chemical industry employs 2 million people and is the second largest industrial sector in Europe. It ranks first by size among chemical industries in the world. It will be the first big European industry sector to start the formalised Social Partner Dialogue on European level.

Building Confidence - Areas of Common Interest

Both organisations aim to take advantage of the chances offered by the treaties of Maastricht and Amsterdam. They want to use the formalised dialogue in the interest of both the chemical industry and its work force to create development initiatives for the European chemical sector. They view this in accordance with the Lisbon strategy, which is to transform Europe into the most dynamic knowledge-based economic area world-wide.

The social partners in the European chemical industry have come closer in steps in the past years. The first bilateral social partners conferences were meant to getting to know persons, organizations and mentalities in the different European chemical industries. Very soon cooperation developed in fields of common interest. Thus recently a joint declaration on the new European chemicals policy was agreed in accordance with CEFIC. Furthermore a memorandum of understanding was reached on 'Responsible Care' .

Joint Position Paper on "Education and Lifelong Learning" - Exchange of Best Practice
At the Helsinki Chemical Industry Social Partners Conference, EMCEF and ECEG concluded a new joint position paper on "Education, Vocational Training and Lifelong Learning in the European Chemical Industry." They decided to create a joint working group which will as a first step make an in-depth analysis of the status quo regarding skills, qualification, vocational training and lifelong learning in the various chemical industries.

As a second step there will be a best practice comparison and exchange of information between the different national systems. The collected experiences shall then form the basis for supporting further development in this area.

Burkhard Jahn
Bundesarbeitgeberverband Chemie e.V.
Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
Abraham-Lincoln-Str. 24
65189 Wiesbaden
Telefon +49 611 77881-38
Telefax +49 611 77881-24
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