The project aims to enhance the modernisation and competitiveness of the EU Textile, Clothing, Leather, and Footwear (TCLF) industries through the development of a sustainable upskilling and reskilling strategy, which is supported by a communication plan to attract social, economic and political actors.


Four dynamic industries…

With approximately 260,000 companies, a turnover of EUR 240bn and 2 million workers employed across the EU, the Textile, Clothing, Leather and Footwear industries are large contributors to the European economy. European savoir-faire is highly valued all over the world and its popularity among global consumers is continuously growing, as evidenced by the rapid expansion of European companies and products in global markets. The TCLF sectors’ reputation is based on a successful blend of creativity, craftsmanship and innovation, with centuries-old know-how rubbing elbows with the latest technologies.

… facing common challenges and opportunities

In order to safeguard their leading position and remain competitive in the long run, the TCLF industries have to anticipate the challenges and grasp the opportunities of an ever-changing world. Their priority is to retain the know-how that has made their global reputation, and this is only possible by employing a qualified workforce. The workforce is the biggest asset of these industries in a period where population, including employees are ageing.

Burgeoning new technologies that are optimising the design, manufacture and retail processes, new demands from consumers and new environmental concerns require new occupation profiles and skills that current and future workers can only acquire through updated and innovative training programmes, teaching methodologies and tools.

The TCLF industries suffer from an attractiveness deficit due to an outdated image and ongoing misconceptions which doesn’t appropriately reflect the modernity and competitiveness of these industries and the large variety of career opportunities that they offer today.


In order to respond effectively to these challenges, 22 private and public stakeholders from 9 different countries participate in the Skills4Smart TCLF Industries 2030 Blueprint, an ambitious four-year project funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Commission.

A focus on VET to solve the skills gap and skills mismatch

Upskilling and reskilling today’s employees require appropriate and updated education programmes, and the project prioritises the modernisation of VET education. After identifying actions and tools to anticipate and supply the skills needed and after mapping the current best practices, the project partners will upgrade new transnational vocational curricula and training programmes for 8 occupation profiles. These programmes will draw from innovative learning methods that are more adapted to teach today’s generations of students how to deal with the changes brought about by digitalisation, the need for more sustainable production processes and products, and how to benefit from key enabling technologies in order to address companies’ needs and to seize global opportunities.

All along this process, the partners will weave an EU-wide network of relevant stakeholders (VET providers, public authorities, businesses, etc.) working together on skills development for the modernisation and growth of the sectors beyond the project lifespan.

The operational hub of this strategy will be an EU Fashion Virtual Campus, a one-stop-shop gathering sectoral data and knowledge produced during and outside the project such as a European VET centres’ map, statistical data, analysis regarding jobs and qualification trends, documentation about existing profiles and education pathways in the TCLF sectors, educational resources such as MOOCs, VOOCs or course material as well as apprenticeship or internship opportunities from companies all over Europe.

Effective communication to attract new workers

In order to engage the commitment from all category of relevant private and public stakeholders, in particular of future workers, the project partners will launch an ambitious attractiveness plan that includes a promotional campaign. Young students and their families will (re)discover that the TCLF industries are not only hiring but that the jobs they offer are desirable, gratifying and offering promising career opportunities.