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Scenarios for the future of manufacturing

This project developed alternative scenarios for the future of manufacturing in Europe. It was led by Cambridge Econometrics (CE).

The objective of the project was to develop and deliver scenarios relevant to possible future developments in manufacturing in Europe. The methods used to model the scenarios should: have captured the inter-relationships between industry sectors; and have assessed implications for future employment by detailed sector and occupation, estimating both the projected changes in overall employment by occupation, (growth or decline, but referred to as expansion demand) and replacement demand, (the outflow of workers who leave or retire and who need to be replaced).

The scenarios were designed to assess the impacts of key drivers of change that are relevant to the future of manufacturing, such as, trade, demographics, wages, energy, technologies and investment. CE and IER were the lead partners in the consortium that developed the original modelling framework for Cedefop’s pan-European skills supply and demand forecasts, and delivered the forecasts under four successive contracts since 2006. They are therefore well placed to conduct this project.

It used the modelling framework developed by CE/IER on behalf of Cedefop for projecting the demand

and supply of skills. The modelling framework comprises:

• CE’s E3ME macro-sectoral econometric model;

• A series of modules developed for Cedefop by IER, known as the Warwick Labour Market Extension (WLME).

At the core of the modelling framework is CE’s E3ME macro-sectoral econometric model. This is a fully specified model of all EU Member States (and key global trading partners) capable of executing the types of scenario required for this study. The model generates projections of economic indicators, and of labour demand (employment) at the sectoral level and labour supply (the economically active labour force) by demographic group.

The WLME comprises several modules that analyse labour supply and demand in more detail, including modules that take the sectoral employment projections from E3ME and translate these into implications for occupations and qualifications, including both expansion and replacement demand by occupation.

Project Team:

Rob Wilson (Principal Investigator)

Project Duration:

May 2017 - December 2017

Project Partner:


Project Funder: