The Covid-19 pandemic changed all social patterns and strongly changed the way we care. Consequently, new skills are needed with a constant attention to the well-being and mental health of healthcare professionals, in particular nurses. In a constantly changing labour market that is increasingly globalized, digital, robotic and green, the need to build and acquire new skills has become fundamental.

The Euractiv event on “Up-skilling & Reskilling as part of the well-being of the European workforce” made an in-depth analysis on the new future skills necessary to be acquired in the coming years. The main focus was on digital skills.

Ms Manuela Geleng, European Commission, Director for Jobs and Skills, DG EMPL, stated the Covid-19 pandemic gave a boost to digitalisation process, but, at the same time, highlighted all the critical issues related to the lack of digital skills, especially in the adult healthcare professionals. “It is important to recognize that without skilled healthcare professionals, implement innovation is not possible”. Currently, for the European Commission, skills are at the top priority in the political agenda.

Annemarie Muntz, Managing Director Labour Market Strategy, Randstad – Healthy Europe Corporate Knowledge Partner, focused on the labour market in terms of trends and main issues. She discussed Employability and skills with a shift and growth of digitalisation, up-skilling and reskilling to support job transition and boosting the transition from the declining sectors to growing one.

On youth employment, high youth unemployment increased due to Covid-19 pandemic with major losses in retail and hospitality. Related to mobility, transition and migration, the meta trends relate to the demographic shifts such as ageing population, immigration, talent shortages, skills mismatches. There is a need to create a more flexible labour forces in order to sustain growth and transition to healthcare professionals mobility. To discover in-depth to these topics, the involvement of relevant stakeholders is necessary, including nurse researchers.

El-Iza Mohamedou, Head of OECD Centre for Skills, drew the attention on the skills outlook 2021 and 2023:

Important to keep in mind:

  • Covid-19 the pandemic: influence the wellbeing of healthcare professionals across the world
  • Climate change: high pollution levels and extreme temperatures are associated with health risks
  • Knowledge society: investigate on what are the potential health risks and the necessary skills to fight them
  • Work context: workplace organization affected mental health issues

In an ever changing globalised and digitised world, keeping up has become a priority. The way of working is changing and it is necessary to be constantly updated in order to enjoy the benefits of the digital and globalized world. The health sector needs this boost to achieve greater resilience and the ability to cope with future health crises.

In this context, nursing research plays a fundamental role. Up-skilling and reskilling are fundamental for nursing profession and needs evidence based support to build a resilient nursing workforce.