Single Market Programme

TCLF SkillBridge

TCLF SkillBridge Single Market Programme



2024 – 2027


€1 199 176

The consortium: 

  • European Apparel and Textile Confederation – EURATEX (Belgium)
  • European Confederation of the Footwear Industry – CEC (Belgium)
  • Confédération des Associations Nationales des Tanneurs et des Mégissiers de la Communauté Européenne – COTANCE (France)


European Footwear Confederation (CEC)

Building bridges to upgrade Europe’s Textile, Clothing, Leather and Footwear Industries


Anchored in the European Skills Agenda and the EU TCLF Pact for Skills, the SkillBridge initiative acknowledges the pressing need to rejuvenate the textile, clothing, leather and footwear (TCLF) companies. The European TCLF industries are employing around 2.2 million people across approximately 220.000 enterprises, mainly small and medium-sized. The initiative will address several critical challenges the TCLF companies face, including an ageing workforce and the pressing demand for green and digital skills.

SkillBridge is positioned as a vital bridge between past efforts and future aspirations by addressing skills needs at local and regional level where the industry is present. It aims to fulfil the commitments of the European Union’s Pact for Skills. This Pact’s initiative is expected to reinforce the competitiveness of 14 critical ecosystems, including the textile ecosystem (that includes Textile, Clothing, Leather and Footwear) within the EU’s industrial strategy by investing in lifelong learning of workers.

The SkillBridge initiative will focus on fostering regional skills partnerships, bringing together diverse stakeholders from industry, education, and public sectors. In coordination with Erasmus+ Blueprint METASKILLS4TCLF and AEQUALIS4TCLF projects, the objective is to ensure that TCLF companies count with qualified and skilled workers that respond to companies’ needs from a bottom-up approach starting at the regional level and identifying the specific needs of the geographic industrial landscape. By doing so, SkillBridge not only expects to remedy current skill shortages and demographic imbalances, but also to anticipate future industry needs, particularly those arising from the green and digital transitions. It seeks to cultivate a sustainable community of stakeholders capable of driving the TCLF industries towards resilience, competitiveness, and innovation.


  • Establish and support a network of regional stakeholders’ skills’ partnerships, which can collaboratively work towards common goals.
  • Monitor the actions and commitments of each regional partnership in order to progress towards the industries’ green and digital transformation.
  • Facilitate community exchanges and knowledge sharing through cross-regional exchanges, case studies, and success stories.
  • Support SMEs to upskill and reskill their workforce.

Expected outcomes

  • Resources containing materials designed to guide regions step-by-step through the process of forming regional/local skills partnerships, as well as offering best practices, methodologies, and strategies to help regions develop robust plans that ensure long-term success, financial stability, and the visibility of their partnerships.
  • Support for initiatives assisting SMEs with high-quality skill-development services.
  • Resources detailing the successful integration, set-up, and effectiveness of the European Commission’s Transition Pathway Stakeholder Collaboration Platform.