ESSA Project

ESSA at a Glance


Economic, digital and technological developments, as well as energy efficiency demands, present the European Steel Industry with a number of challenges. In particular, the rapid and constant change the industry is experiencing requires it to update the qualifications, knowledge and skills of its workforce in continuous ways.

The workforce of today, and tomorrow, must adapt to digital transformations and changes in production processes (Industry 4.0), as well as adjust to the new working practices and patterns of work organisation that are being introduced as a result of such developments (Work 4.0).

New and more stringent regulations concerning energy efficiency and emissions, to protect the environment, will also impact on the way the steel sector in Europe operates.

A more highly qualified, specialised and multi-skilled workforce is needed to address all of these developments, but the industry faces skills gaps, skills shortages, recruitment difficulties and talent management issues.


The main objective of the project is to develop a Blueprint for a sustainable, steel industry driven and coordinated European Steel Skills Agenda (ESSA).

The Agenda will present a strategy for meeting current and future skills demands, and pilot the development of modules and tools for building awareness and implementing new skills for a globally competitive industry.

The aim is to be ready to anticipate new skills demands and to develop pro-active practical activities to meet the future requirements of the industry.

Further Information



Across recent decades the European steel sector has undergone substantial transformation. The industry has restructured and consolidated, with ownership now largely comprising several large multi-national companies, following merger and acquisition activity. The latter went hand in hand with transforming the steel industry towards high-technological production processes and products. Such developments have had implications for the industry workforce, which is now much reduced i.e. as the sector has consolidated, it has retrenched, plants have closed and jobs have been shed. Parallel to this, and driven by processes of consolidation, technological developments and changing market conditions have led to changes in the workforce profile in a numbers of ways.


The main objective of the project is to develop a Blueprint for a sustainable steel industry driven and coordinated European steel skills agenda and strategy for an ongoing and short-termed implementation of new skills demands. This will be piloted by the development of modules and tools for awareness and new skills for a global competitive industry, ready to anticipate new skills demands and to allow pro-active practical activities meet the future requirements of the industry. Hence, the main objective is to develop an industry driven pro-active skills strategy or Blueprint that is able:


WP1: Management


Please find further information about the ESSA project in different languages in the following flyers: