Page 13 - Annual Report 2014-2015
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 also aim at ensuring a sustainable future for the Organization as a speci c, self- nanced and successful international body. Reforms have recently been adopted and apart from modernising our membership framework, supporting actions have also been provided to optimise the management of the network and its links with other Organizations in the engineering  eld (ECEC, ECCE, BEST, EYE, etc.). In a continent where the opinion on the outlook of the EU is becoming polarised between those who believe it is no longer  t for purpose and those who point to its enormous achievements, FEANI wishes to continue serving as an example of how to achieve and determine harmonized policies. Founded in 1951, our Federation is not outdated : our National Members remain essential in attracting youngsters to the engineering profession, in promoting apprenticeships, in liaising with industry, in guiding future engineers in the multiple options of continued professional education and in enabling them to work cross-border and internationally with as little admin- istrative burden as possible. The completion of this mission in the 21st century global environment, does imply new challenges.
Globalisation was expected to turn the world into one prosperous village. In many aspects of society, our profession has certainly contributed to that by designing and building new infrastructures, by developing better and faster transport modes, by tackling the issues of renewable energy and climate change, by considering environmental protection, etc. However, in some European countries, globalisation has also had a price and has led to a decline of the welfare-state with considerable consequences for the next generation. In the EU 28, more than 17% of the age range 20-24 years, is not in employment, education or training (NEET). In countries in the South of Europe this exceeds 30%. Typical middle- class jobs in the manufacturing industry have moved away to other continents, without a lot coming back in return. Yet, the perceived stagnation in the EU is relative. Western countries are still amongst the richest in the world and the middle-class remains a lot richer than those in the emerging economies. Our wealth remains enormous and  fty years ago people in our countries could only dream of the living standards we have achieved today. The challenge of our Organization today is that we should not be complacent and
compare ourselves with  fty years ago or with the emerging economies, but with our future. Our young generations suffer from precarious employment contracts or the lack of any employability at all. Today’s de-industrialization is as disruptive as the transfer of Europe from an agrarian society to an industrialized one was in the middle of the 19th century. As professional Organizations we have a task to ensure that future generations have the right skills and are not left behind. Therefore, Industry 4.0, to which our Vice-President referred previously, must be a prime concern.
In the light thereof, FEANI successfully quali ed to be a project partner in three important EU funded projects which are all in line with our corporate mission and objectives. We participate in the “Creation of a system for the documen- tation and validation of non-formal and informal learning in the engineering profession” (lead by VDI in Germany); in the project “Professional Roles and Employability of Future Engineers” (lead by the University of Leuven Belgium) and in the project “Development of an Action Plan for the EU STEM Coalition” (lead by Platform Bèta Techniek in the Netherlands). The goal of the latter project is to stimulate and support member states to establish a successful national STEM strategy. We are strongly convinced of the importance of international exchange of knowledge and experience and of the bene ts of international cooperation. “Fostering and Development of Talent” has also been chosen as the motto of the Slovak Presidency of the EU Council, because supporting talent has a strong potential to increase competitiveness and drive innovation. As a partner of the EU STEM coalition FEANI will assist in building momentum for a strategic approach to developing talent, to ensure it is best used to build a prosperous Europe.
Finally, we wish to amplify that we must continue to support and be involved in the interaction between business, education, governments and other stakeholders to identify and exchange on how STEM and ICT-skills shortages can be structurally addressed in the long term. Those skills will be a key component for European competitiveness and produc- tivity as they are needed across a broad range of sectors. As FEANI we have a main task to play in being a key-enabler to achieve these strategic objectives. 

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