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Call key data
Global Shortages and Skill Partnerships
Horizon Europe - Cluster 2 - Destination 3: Innovative research on social and economic transformations
Estimated EU contribution per project
between € 2,000,000.00 and € 3,000,000.00
Link to the call
Link to the submission
As the EU’s workforce grows older, there is increasing political attention on how to recruit workers with the right skills for a changing labour market. The EU has proposed to develop ‘Talent Partnerships’ with third countries of origin, in order to train and recruit workers from outside of the EU. This type of international partnership based on skills, is premised on the idea that in many sectors shortages are global, and thereby one can develop training centres at lower cost outside of the EU, training people which may then spend their skills both in the origin countries, as well as in the EU. Research has started to look at this promising principle finding interesting practices, yet attention is needed on a macro level to better understand causes and consequences of such shortages globally, in order to envisage scaling up such promising pilots and practices.
Firstly, research should focus on countries of destination, with a particular focus on the EU (at the national and regional level) in the context of an ageing population with a shrinking workforce and tax base. Proposals should focus on the shortage model that leads to recruitment of foreign workers through skill partnerships, and should assess their existence and their cause, with particular attention on how to define and measure them. This should shed light on the need to expand workforce by recruiting foreign labour, also by assessing viability and trade-offs of other alternatives. These could be, but are not limited to: raising wages, also considering incentives needed employers to do so vis-à-vis foreign worker recruitment; education and upskilling of local workforce, considering the possibility of matching supply and demand of labour depending on the sector and timeframe of the needs; automation, with a focus to investments and incentives needed to reach a level of automation of work in sectors which rely on migrant workforce. As such, proposals should assess causes and consequences of shortages in destination countries warranting the establishment of partnerships with third countries to recruit needed skills.
Proposals should then focus on third countries of origin, and go beyond single case studies keeping a macro and/or cross-case comparison perspective. Proposals should develop a way to evaluate labour markets and analyse matching needs and shortages compared to the EU. Proposals could combine labour market analyses with a focus on the education system and analyse structures in place for training people for those sectors in need, including spending attention on qualifications obtained in view of EU recognition, as well as on language skills as a factor for migrant integration. Proposals should also analyse the relation between investing in upskilling local workforce in view of recruiting a proportion of this, together with the creation of local human capital that could act as a driver for local development. This could be coupled with a survey in different countries with skilled (migrant) workers, in view of developing a database of microdata on the interaction of developing skills with local development processes. Proposals could take into account mobility patterns and retention initiatives as part of their analysis, as well as the ESCO classification. Overall, such analyses should shed light on conditions which influence positively or negatively local development processes vis-à-vis foreign upskilling and recruitment, analysing conditions which lead domestic institutions to capitalise on the positive effects. Proposals may also include a historical perspective with comparisons with ‘guest worker’ programs of recruitment of foreign workers in the second half of the 20th century, to build on what has worked and what has not in the past. Proposals are encouraged to consider in their analyses in particular the pilot projects on legal migration carried out by the Mobility Partnership Facility, as well as other projects running in this area, inter alia the Flagship Technical Support topic, the European Training Foundation’s ‘Skills Lab’, THAMM project in North-Africa and the MATCH project.
As such, proposals should consider both sides of ‘skill partnerships’ including the issues of brain drain and economic development of third countries, and assess the shortage model on which they are premised both in destination and origin countries, looking at the distribution of benefits for destination countries, origin countries and migrants themselves.
Proposals are encouraged to consider contributing to the Global Gateway Strategy by increasing scientific knowledge and transferring best practices among partner countries. In order to achieve the expected outcomes, international cooperation is strongly encouraged. Clustering and cooperation with other selected projects under this call and other relevant projects are strongly encouraged, especially with the beneficiaries of topic ‘HORIZON-CL2-2023-TRANSFORMATIONS-01-07: Tackling European skills and labour shortages’ to ensure complementarities wherever relevant.
- Enhance EU migration governance by matching analyses of skills shortages in the EU and in non-EU countries.
- Provide tools to decision-makers to navigate skill shortages in EU labour markets.
- Present an overview of the trade-offs of filling shortages with migrant workforce vis-à-vis other alternatives such as education/local - and re upskilling/automation.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Faeroes (Føroyar / Færøerne), Georgia (საქართველო), Island (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Montenegro (Црна Гора), Morocco (المغرب), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
EU Body, Education and training institution, International organization, Natural Person, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the following countries:
- the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions
- the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States
- third countries associated to Horizon Europe - see list of particpating countries
Only legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes, as beneficiaries, three legal entities independent from each other and each established in a different country as follows:
- at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State; and
- at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, including legal entities from non-associated third countries or international organisations (including international European research organisations) is eligible to participate (whether it is eligible for funding or not), provided that the conditions laid down in the Horizon Europe Regulation have been met, along with any other conditions laid down in the specific call topic.
A ‘legal entity’ means any natural or legal person created and recognised as such under national law, EU law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations, or an entity without legal personality.
- Affiliated entities — Affiliated entities (i.e. entities with a legal or capital link to a beneficiary which participate in the action with similar rights and obligations to the beneficiaries, but which do not sign the grant agreement and therefore do not become beneficiaries themselves) are allowed, if they are eligible for participation and funding.
- Associated partners — Associated partners (i.e. entities which participate in the action without signing the grant agreement, and without the right to charge costs or claim contributions) are allowed, subject to any conditions regarding associated partners set out in the specific call conditions.
- Entities without legal personality — Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees to protect the EU’s financial interests equivalent to those offered by legal persons.
- EU bodies — Legal entities created under EU law including decentralised agencies may be part of the consortium, unless provided for otherwise in their basic act.
- Joint Research Centre (‘JRC’)— Where provided for in the specific call conditions, applicants may include in their proposals the possible contribution of the JRC but the JRC will not participate in the preparation and submission of the proposal. Applicants will indicate the contribution that the JRC could bring to the project based on the scope of the topic text. After the evaluation process, the JRC and the consortium selected for funding may come to an agreement on the specific terms of the participation of the JRC. If an agreement is found, the JRC may accede to the grant agreement as beneficiary requesting zero funding or participate as an associated partner, and would accede to the consortium as a member.
- Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members (e.g. European research infrastructure consortia (ERICs)) may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. However, if the action is in practice implemented by the individual members, those members should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible
Relevance for EU Macro-Region
EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
All proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funders & Tenders Portal electronic submission system (accessible via the topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Proposals must be complete and contain all parts and mandatory annexes and supporting documents, e.g. plan for the exploitation and dissemination of the results including communication activities, etc.
The application form will have two parts:
- Part A (to be filled in directly online) contains administrative information about the applicant organisations (future coordinator and beneficiaries and affiliated entities), the summarised budget for the proposal and call-specific questions;
- Part B (to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system) contains the technical description of the project.
Annexes and supporting documents will be directly available in the submission system and must be uploaded as PDF files (or other formats allowed by the system).
The limit for a full application (Part B) is 45 pages.