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EDSP Latest News

Vision on defence related skills for Europe today and tomorrow report is now available!


In the first stage of the project, the research team built the evidence base on defence-related skills and delivered a state of play report Vision on defence related skills for Europe today and tomorrow, with significant contribution from the experts and stakeholders of the European Defence Skills Partnership. This report presents the European defence industrial skills landscape and highlights the skills which will be needed in future, while also identifying the defence market dynamics and technological development trends shaping these requirements. This research then identifies defence-related skills gaps and shortages and highlights challenges with different sets of skills, in different defence domains and across the stages of the defence equipment life-cycle. In addition to the main report, an Overview of selected literature on defence-related skills provide an overview of selected research on the sustainment and development of defence-related skills, including an overview of publications produced by global consultancies. Country profiles annexes provide an in-depth analysis on the skills state of play in: Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, and the UK.

This work also produced the Technical annex that provides a detailed description of the methodologies used to produce the report; a List of identified relevant defence related skills programmes and initiatives, mapping the existing and planned EU, national, regional, and industry-led policies, programmes and initiatives aimed at the sustainment and development of defence-related skills; and the new revised Taxonomy of defence skills.


SAVE THE DATE: High Level Conference on Skills in Defence, 13 March 2019, Brussels


Following the launch of the European Defence Skills Partnership (EDSP) on 19 June 2018, the European Commission is bringing the defence community again together in a high level conference on 13 March 2019. Participants will discuss the outcome of the work of the EDSP on a common vision on defence-related skills to solve today’s and tomorrow’s skills gaps in Europe. The event will provide the opportunity to discuss the way forward in advance of new Commission that will be setting priorities for 2019-2024.


More information on the conference and registration will become available early January on


7 December 2018


Erasmus+ Info Day offered plenty of tips and info on defence-related call


The Erasmus+ Sector Skills Alliances Info Day (6 December) provided concise and comprehensive information on 


-      Call objectives and expected results

-      Financial issues

-      Eligibility, award criteria and submission

-      Blueprint eligible sectors


Presentations videos and slides will be soon available here.


Tips provided during the Info session include

  • Work-based training is eligible.
  • KETs should be addressed according to the new Information note available here.
  • Involve organisations with deep knowledge. Be ambitious and pragmatic.
  • Read Programme Guide carefully. Consider the award criteria.
  • Start filling-in the online proposal already now. The application is complex and takes time.
  • Divide the work among partners.
  • One may be applicant for several proposals.


4 December 2018


Info session on the Erasmus+ Sector Skills Alliances call on 6 December


An online ‘Info Session’ on the Erasmus+ Sector Skills Alliances call will be held on 6 December from 14:00 – 16:30. During the webinar, European Commission and EACEA representatives will explain new funding opportunities, the policy framework and provide advice on preparing applications.  


Defence technologies is one of the eligible sectors under Lot 3. A successful defence sector proposal will be awarded a €4 million grant for 4 years.


For more information, to view the programme and to register for the webinar, follow this link.


Following the session, the recorded videos and power point presentations will be available on the same site for consultation.


3 December 2018


Vision summary report published


The Summary report of the "Vision on defence-related skills for today and tomorrow" resulting from the skills data collection and analysis conducted during summer and autumn is available online. It summarises the skills required by the defence sector today and in the future, identifies defence-related skills mismatches, and outlines the European skills supply landscape. The European Defence Skills Partnership played an instrumental role contributing and providing feedback during the entire exercise. The report findings will feed into the European defence skills strategy expected in March 2019.


19 November 2018


European Defence Skills Partnership presented with research findings and discussed concrete actions to plug the skills gap




The European Defence Skills Partnership met for the fourth workshop on 14 November in Brussels.

The research team led by RAND Europe presented the findings of the report on "Common vision on defence related skills for Europe today and tomorrow". A first short presentation of the findings is available here.


Taking stock of the research findings to date, but also looking ahead, the group discussed the implications of the identified skills gaps. During the second part of the workshop, EDSP members reflected upon concrete supporting actions that industry, educational institutions, national governments and EU institutions could take to address skills gaps at the EU level.


The group agreed that investing in the transferability of skills and in the adaptability of the workforce, as well as in the design of training modules and in the creation of an EU-level accreditation system for training and education institutions are initiatives that a more integrated defence community should pursue.


EDSP experts will meet again in Brussels during the first week of December for a series of working sessions on specific topics that will feed into the European Defence Skills Strategy expected in March 2019.


Erasmus+ Info Session for Sector Skills Alliances Lot 3 on defence technologies
An information and matchmaking session on the Erasmus+ call for Sector Skills Alliances Lot 3 on defence technologies, open to all interested parties took place back to back with the EDSP workshop on Wednesday 14th. The slides presented are available here.


25 October 2018


Info-Day on Sector Skills Alliances Lot 3 - Defence Technologies


An info-day on the Erasmus+ call for Sector Skills Alliances Lot 3 on Defence Technologies will take place on 14 November in Rue de la Science 14b at 10.00. 

Presentations on requirements and hands-on information on how to prepare an application followed by Q&A will last until 11.00. Matchmaking and consortia building opportunity among participants will follow.


To participate, please register by sending an e-mail to


24 October 2018


Erasmus+ call for proposals on defence technologies open


Defence is one of the eligible sectors under the 2019 Erasmus+ call for Sector Skills Alliances Lot 3, published on 24 October. One successful selected proposal can be awarded a €4 million grant for 4 years. Project proposals should address at least 2 of the following areas:  a) complex weapon systems, b) ballistics, c) robotics, autonomous systems, artificial intelligence and d) C4ISTAR (command, control, communications, computers, information/intelligence, surveillance, targeting acquisition and reconnaissance).


The call is published on the Official Journal 2018/C 384/04 of 24.10.2018. The deadline for submission of proposals is 28 February 2019.


All information on the detailed conditions of this call is found in the Programme Guide 2019. See from p. 144 on for Sectors Skills Alliances and from p. 153 about Lot 3. Information includes eligible organisations, consortia minimum requirements, specific requirements for defence technologies etc. For the practical Guide to Apply see Part C in p. 251.


20 September 2018


European Defence Skills Partnership concluded skills gap analysis exercise 



The European Defence Skills Partnership met for the third workshop on 18 September in Brussels. Members representing industry and academia discussed the findings of the research to date, and examined differences and similarities in the industrial base and the approach to defence skills across several EU countries. They commented on the survey preliminary results presented by the research team and discussed how to address the challenges identified and which mitigation measures should be recommended by a European defence skills strategy.


Input gathered will feed into the comprehensive mapping and analysis on the current situation of the skills gap in the European defence sector and anticipated gaps in the next 5-10 years. The results of this exercise will be presented in the report on "Common vision on defence related skills for Europe today and tomorrow" expected in October. 


23 July 2018


Survey on defence-related skills launched!


Please access the survey here


The survey aims to collect and analyse data within the project on Defence Related Skills carried out by Rand Europe. The input gathered will feed into the comprehensive overview of skills gaps in Europe drafted in October 2018.


The survey consists of two parts:


   1.     Questions exploring general defence industry skills gaps today and as anticipated by you in future, the criticality of specific defence skills for your organisation and issues with filling vacancies for these skills and the effects of having these skills gaps on your organisation. It also covers domain-specific skills based on your area of expertise as indicated by you in the introductory part of the survey. 


   2.     Questions on skills associated to new technologies and related current and potential future skills gaps.


The information gathered will be anonymised, aggregated, and used only for the purposes of this study. 


We thank you in advance for your participation and valuable insight!


10 July 2018


2nd EDSP working group meeting on 18 July 2018 in Brussels


The next EDSP working group meeting will take place on Wednesday, 18 July 2018, in Brussels.

This second workshop will review the findings to date regarding gaps and problem areas in the supply of prioritised skills as well as the effectiveness of policies and initiatives aimed at skills support and development across Europe, with a focus on education and training initiatives and policies. Inputs will feed into the "Common vision on defence-related skills for Europe today and tomorrow", which is expected to be published in October 2018.


29 June 2018


1st EDSP meeting addressed skills deficiencies and the impact of emerging technologies


The first EDSP working group meeting, in the occasion of the launch of the European Defence Skills Partnership on 19 June saw a large number of interested participants.

EDSP members provided considerations about present skills deficiencies from their different perspectives. They discussed the level of alignment of supply and demand in defence skills, performance indicators for training programmes, and the way future skills demands will be influenced by emerging technologies.

The precious inputs will feed into the comprehensive mapping and analysis on the current situation of the skills gap in the European defence sector.


22 June 2018


EDSP Launch Event


High Level Conference: "Launch of the European Defence Skills Partnership" -  19 June 2018, Brussels


The European Defence Skills Partnership was launched at a high level conference in Brussels on 19 June. Organised by the European Commission, the event marked a milestone in the implementation of the European Defence Action Plan in addressing skills under the Blueprint for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills initiative.


More than 100 eminent representatives from industry and associations, academia, research organisations and national and regional authorities gathered to discuss challenges and trends in the availability of skills for the defence sector and ways to close the gaps.


Panel participants agreed it was critical to take on these challenges collectively in order to succeed and to go cross-border  and build an ecosystem of capabilities and skills. 


Objectives identified by the panel include: 


•     Skills are built around capability programmes and big companies give substance to industrial cooperation through developing partnerships. 


•     There is a need to tap into the potential of, in particular SMEs and start-ups, and take advantage of the innovation driven by the civil side. 


•     Efforts need to be strengthened to render the sector more attractive to young graduates and women. 


Different best practices that aim to achieve these objectives were highlighted throughout the event. 


The presentations of the event are available here.