TRS.20.028 – House of Skills, enabling sustainability transition through labor market innovation

Route: Towards resilient societies

Cluster question: 049 How can we ensure that our labour force and labour-market organisations remain robust and resilient as they face the challenges of the 21st century?

Realizing a transition towards sustainable energy is a global challenge. Next to technological innovations and behavioral change, systemic changes are needed. One of them is a labor market that has the capacity to install the solar panels, heath pumps, insulation and local smart-grids that are needed to rebuild our economy and life environment.
Why? Our present labor market struggles with friction in demand and supply of work. The currently growing mismatch hampers the productivity and competitiveness of companies, and threatens the realization of climate goals. It is crucial that it becomes easier for workers to develop within their profession (upskilling environment) or to switch to other professions (reskilling environment). However, an effective system for up- and reskilling and intersectoral mobility is lacking.
What? Skills, more than diplomas, make transparent what a person is able to do and should therefore become more prominent in work-learn environments. Skills mean the ability to apply knowledge and use know-how to complete tasks and solve problems (EQF). Skills-based environments could contribute to lifelong learning and a more resilient labor market better able to adjust to urgent tasks.
How? The systemic change to a more skills-based work-learn environment requires extensive knowledge in 3 domains. First, a common dynamic skills language, for the Dutch labor market is needed. Second, skills-based instruments (e.g. assessment, matching, prediction) have to be developed. Third, to scale up skills strategies, empirical insight is required in how skills approaches fit into the system level.
The partners of House of Skills seek to co-create solutions and answer their collective research questions: (1) To what extent are skills-based strategies a solution to cope with the changes in work, for example due to the energy transition, and (2) How can skills-based strategies be designed, and under what conditions, scaled up to a national skills-based work-learn system?
Persons involved: TNO Healthy Living (dr. J. van. Genabeek, dr. G. Geuskens), VU ACLA (dr. I. Cornelisz, dr. C. van Klaveren),Gemeente Amsterdam (A. Spork).


Co-creation, energy, human capital, labour market, skills, sustainability transitions, system innovation

Other organisations

Alliander, Cross-Over, Gemeente Amsterdam, HAN, Nova College, RoC van Amsterdam, Saxion, TechConnect, Techniek Nederland, TNO Healthy Living, VU ACLA


Organisation Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences
Name Dr. J.E. (Julie) Ferguson