ALEBA pledges its wholehearted support for the Luxembourg Digital Skills Bridge project

On Tuesday 16 January 2018, Laurent Mertz, Secretary General, and Frank Ertel, a member of the Executive Committee, met Nadine Welter and Gary Tunsch (Luxembourg Ministry of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy) together with Laurent Probst (PricewaterhouseCoopers Luxembourg), who are responsible for the new Luxembourg Digital Skills Bridge project.

As a reminder, the aim of the Skills Bridge project is to anticipate major technological changes and their impact on employment and skills across all business sectors. The project focuses on training and the acquisition of new skills enabling employees to access new job vacancies, with the government providing specific financial support for the employer for the training process. The project is unique in that it matches the employee skills that are already held or that will be acquired with the characteristics and requirements of existing job vacancies.

This meeting was a follow-up to previous exchanges on this issue with ALEBA President, Robert Scolati, during 2017, with the aim of assessing the project’s progress. Indeed, ALEBA noted that major progress has been made and that the professional approaches have now been decided upon and adopted. For Laurent Mertz, Secretary General of ALEBA: “The Skills Bridge project is exceptional and has our full support. Now, more than ever, we must anticipate developments related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and digitalisation, and implement innovative solutions based on professional methodologies as quickly as possible. This is all the more important and necessary within the financial sector, where employment is particularly sensitive to new technologies.”

The principles of the Luxembourg Digital Skills Bridge project are currently being finalised, and, once final approval is granted by the Steering Committee, a test is due to start in March 2018, which will target 300 people in the financial sector. “As the largest union in the financial sector, ALEBA considers an initiative such as the Bridge Skills project essential. We know that banks, insurance companies and other financial professionals have to keep reinventing themselves in order to remain profitable and competitive, taking into account the advent of all of these new technologies affecting employment and professions in the financial sector, even if it is difficult to quantify the extent of their impact currently. We must therefore do everything possible to anticipate the disappearance of any function that would lead to the loss of a job; anything contributing to prevention rather than cure is very important, and Bridge Skills is a part of this philosophy,” explained Laurent Mertz. At the same time, he issued a reminder that ALEBA has already put training at the heart of its demands during negotiations for the renewal of collective bargaining agreements for the banking and insurance sectors.

Press contacts:

Laurent Mertz, Secretary General ( / +352 621 232 295)

Sandra Carvalho, Head of Communications & Strategy ( / +352 671 223 228)

For the Luxembourg Digital Skills Bridge project:

Laurent Mertz, Secretary General ( / +352 621 232 295)