European Social Dialogue

Attracting New Skilled Workforce

Attracting New Skilled Workforce European Social Dialogue



Social Dialogue Call, European Commission (VS/2017/0006 )

Project duration:

Feb. 2017 – Jan. 2019

Total European Commission grant:

€ 307.107  Consortium

The Consortium

Assocalzaturifici (Italy), European Confederation of the Footwear Industry (Belgium), IndustriAll European Trade Union (Belgium)




  • Website:
  • Address: Via Monte Rosa, 21 20149 Milan (Italy )

Attracting new skilled workforce for quality jobs in the European Footwear Sector

The European footwear sector has many strengths and one of them is represented by the workforce: their skills and abilities. This is a fantastic opportunity for the future of young people: in the world of footwear, young people have the chance to find an immediate, stimulating job in a highly creative environment.

We need to tackle the recruitment of young workers and to define medium-term strategies to attract, train and hire young people, offering them the necessary opportunities to find quality jobs in the footwear sector.

Main tasks

The project, which kicked off in January 2016, saw three types of tasks:

  • Analysis – to identify common problems and to propose potential solutions and best practices that can be pursued at a European level.
  • Development – to create initiatives encouraging and monitoring the effective implementation of the best practices, with pilot initiatives in 4 regions (Italy, Spain, Portugal and Poland).
  • Communication – to develop a more attractive image of the sector and to create a communication campaign aimed at young people.

Achieved Results

  • A report recommending actions to be implemented by the footwear sector to attract and retain new workers
  • A practical guideline of best practices for the inclusion and retention of young workers in the footwear sector
  • Enhanced attractiveness of the footwear sector among young workers

Talent Shoe 2018 Contest

Over 60 young students of footwear design and manufacturing from different schools in Europe gathered today at Confindustria Moda in Milan for the “Talent Shoe 2018”, the award ceremony of the European design contest organised under an EU Social Dialogue project promoted by Assocalzaturifici, the European Footwear Confederation (CEC) and IndustriAll Europe Trade Union. Among the topics highlighted in the projects of the eight finalist teams, sustainability, connectivity and innovation were at the forefront, and illustrated well the interests of the new generations.

On the 25th of June, the 8 proud finalist teams of the European footwear design competition “Shake the future of the footwear sector” demonstrated their creative and visionary take on the footwear industry at the final award ceremony “Talent Shoe 2018”, hosted by Assocalzaturifici at Confindustria Moda in Milan.

When tasked with the challenge of envisioning new concepts for footwear designs and imagining what footwear factories might look like in the future, 42 teams of enthusiastic students from across Europe rose to the occasion, proposing ideas ranging from playful models of children’s shoes changing colours to recyclable or connected shoes, underlying wellbeing, sustainability and fashion, which showed an imaginative impulse and understanding of emerging and budding consumers’ trends.

Judging by the spirited enthusiasm and creativity generated by the “Shake the future of the footwear sector” contest, the project partners are confident that with continued efforts from all stakeholders to promote the sector, a new generation of avid and talented footwear professionals will manage to refashion European footwear careers and make the sector stronger than ever.

More information about the award ceremony and projects can be found  here.