From November 30th to December 1st, 2023, the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training orchestrated an international conference in Bonn, convening researchers across diverse disciplines to spotlight and deliberate on the pivotal role of VET and skilled workers in technological and ecological innovation. Notably, the conference welcomed four representatives from Bridges 5.0: Valeria Cirillo (University of Bari), Tony Schroeder (sfs-TU Dortmund), Steven Dhondt (TNO), and Linda Clarke (SAB; University of Westminster).

Valeria Cirillo and Steven Dhondt collaborated in a session spotlighting the significance of technological transformation for the VET system. Steven elucidated how Industry 5.0 can guide industrial companies in redirecting technology towards enhanced productivity. Meanwhile, Valeria Cirillo underscored that while robotisation generally leads to increased employment, regional disparities within Europe’s technological institutional context paint a varied picture, with the Southern and Eastern regions witnessing employment substitution due to robotics.

In another discussion focused on the EU’s green transition, Linda Clarke shared insights into how trade unions are pivotal in driving the green shift within the European construction sector. Tony Schroeder emphasised the significance of the Skills Alliance for Industrial Symbiosis in fostering more sustainable processes within industries.

The conference’s culminating presentation highlighted the imperative shift towards Industry 5.0, demonstrating a tangible impact of the Bridges 5.0 project.

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