The hospitality industry has been particularly affected by the growing labour and skills shortages in EU Member States over the past decade. The European Commission’s Action Plan 2024, adopted on 20 March 2024, focuses on five main areas:

  1. Supporting under-represented groups to find work opportunities.
  2. Matching skills and education with labour market needs.
  3. Improving working conditions.
  4. Supporting labour mobility within the EU.
  5. Attracting talent from outside the EU.

Three key achievements of the European Year of Skills:

  1. More than 2,000 events were organised across the continent thanks to cooperation at national, regional and local levels. These events ranged from grassroots gatherings, through the opening of educational institutions, to sector-specific flagship events and national conferences.
  2. The European Year of Skills has made a significant contribution to the implementation of the EU Skills Agenda by raising its profile and providing a solid platform for stakeholder engagement and exchange of best practices. For example, the Pact for Skills, one of the programme’s flagship initiatives, reached 2,500 members in 2024 and has created 20 large-scale partnerships across 14 industrial ecosystems, deepening collaboration for knowledge development and innovation and opening up more training opportunities for people across Europe.
  3. Engaging people through initiatives and communication campaigns. Among others, 69 million people were reached through social media platforms and 90 million views on platforms such as YouTube and Twitch. The “Real People Real Skills” initiative featured over 200 individuals and stakeholders who shared their personal skills stories.

To support vocational training and retraining in the tourism sector, the EU offers several funding opportunities such as the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+), Erasmus+ and other programmes such as the European Regional Development Fund and InvestEU (HOTREC).