Social affairs

Social affairs
Publication | 28 Nov.2016

Future skills for the paper industry

Like other industries in the EU, Europe’s pulp and paper sector has noticed that fewer young people are joining its workforce than in the past. The EU’s population is ageing and stagnating, which is an additional concern for its future workforce. These trends are occurring against a background of rapid change in the industry in terms of decarbonisation, new technologies and business models, as well as innovative products. Yet a better qualified and skilled workforce will be crucial if the EU is to compete on the global stage.

This brochure, with a foreword by EU Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility Commissioner Marianne Thyssen, is the result of a 2-year project funded by the European Commission. It is available in:







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Press Release | 25 Nov.2016

Skills & Qualifications in the Pulp & Paper Sector

Today and tomorrow skill needs of the European Industry require updating the education and training offer.

Today, the European Social Partners in the Pulp and Paper Sector, CEPI and industriAll Europe, presented a set of policy recommendations that should contribute to a more comprehensive skills strategy in Europe. These recommendations are the result of an extensive research project carried out over the last 2 years. The project was triggered by the observation of profound changes in the industry. Social partners’ agenda was therefore to ensure that the European Paper sector has an adequately skilled workforce. That is why the European Social Partners call on policy makers to:

- Promote workforce adaptability and versatility

- Focus on upskilling and life-long learning

- Facilitate workers’ mobility

- Anticipate future skills needs

- Create conditions for high-quality mentorship

- Raise awareness and attractiveness of the sector

- Provide a one-stop-shop for a coherent European Skills Strategy

The subject of skills and qualifications is a burning one for our industry in order to stay competitive and to offer attractive workplaces and opportunities for career development to workers in the European Paper Industry”, said Luc Triangle, General Secretary of industriAll Europe. “industriAll is convinced that Social Dialogue is an excellent tool to identify skills gaps and develop joint ideas to overcome them.”

Sylvain Lhôte, Director General of CEPI: “Future skills and jobs lie at the heart of industry transformation and the bioeconomy transition in Europe. Our industry has a strong innovation and investment agenda ahead to make transformation to happen here in Europe. We need to equip our workforces with the skills to accompany this transformation.”

The project deliverables were presented at a conference held in Brussels on 24 November that gathered some 100 participants and are available online in 6 language versions.

For industriAll European Trade Union : Corinna Zierold or by phone at +32 2 226 00 55

For CEPI: Bernard de Galembert  or by phone at +32 2 627 49 27

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Press Release | 23 Feb.2016

European Social Partners investigate skills and education needs for the paper industry

The European Paper Sector Social Partners welcomed more than 60 participants from all across Europe for a conference in Vienna to discuss the preliminary research results on the education and training systems and typical curricula relevant for the paper sector in Europe. This extensive research will build the foundation for a gap analysis that will be the second step towards policy recommendations to policy makers, training providers and industry.

“It is high time for us to tackle the challenge of potential future skills mismatches in our sector” said Peter Schuld, Vice-Chairman of the Paper Sector Social Dialogue Committee“. The analysis from key experts demonstrates that we urgently have to adapt to the technological developments and prepare for the transformation within our sector by providing the relevant skills.”

The pulp and paper industry is a sustainable and innovative sector with great potential in Europe, if it continues to look into the future of the sector and the skills needed. At the same time, it is facing an image and perception challenge that deters youngsters to join the industry workforce. This fundamental message was unanimously shared by the training and education experts as well as industry and trade union representatives at the mid-term conference of the European Paper Sector Social Partners’ project on the future skills and competences in their sector.

“Our sector is part of the bio-based industries and will remain competitive – a message that we have to broadly disseminate”, stated Bernard de Galembert, Chairman of the Paper Sector Social Dialogue Committee. “To overcome the lack of appeal, we need to develop identify targeted campaigns to address the general opinion and in particular youngsters and catch their interest for a highly innovative and sustainable sector.”

The project intends to deliver policy recommendations that will be available in November 2016.

For any further information, please contact:
industriAll Europe: Corinna Zierold Tel +32 (0) 2 226 00 55,
CEPI: Bernard de Galembert Tel +32 (0) 2 627 49 27

The EU paper sector social dialogue brings together the paper workers and employers from the EU member States, represented by IndustriAll European Trade Union and CEPI.

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Press Release | 24 Jun.2014

Social Dialogue of the European paper sector


Joint resolution

Drawing the conclusions of a working group meeting of the European Social Dialogue Committee for the Paper Sector on the EU bio-energy policy in the context of the current and future climate and energy ambitions of the European Union, IndustriAll European Trade Union and CEPI participants:

• Acknowledge the potential benefits that bio-energy can deliver in terms of climate change mitigation, as well as increased security of energy supply. These benefits can be delivered if certain conditions are fulfilled, in particular in terms of reliable carbon accounting, and in terms of sustainable sourcing of the feedstocks.
• Stress the fact that the pulp and paper sector, as an energy-intensive industrial sector which is facing high raw material prices on the biomass market at the same time, is in a difficult position. Hence, the impact of the EU bio-energy policy on competitiveness and employment in the European pulp and paper sector is of major concern to us.
• Identify a risk of distorted competition on the biomass markets, mainly due to the targets set and the related support/subsidies mechanisms put in place by the Member States.

Therefore, IndustriAll European Trade Union and CEPI call on the EU to:

• Strengthen policies that proportionally promote the efficient use/conversion of biomass;
• Establish a real sustainable biomass supply policy that supports the current demand-driven policies. Such policy should include provisions to increase the biomass potential in Europe, and to better mobilise the needed feedstocks.
• Place the “cascading use” principle at the core of its climate and energy policy, with a view to ensure the most efficient use of the available biomass, in particular to contribute to the EU growth and jobs objectives.
• Identify and possibly remove subsidies that encourage inefficient use of biomass and distort fair competition on the biomass markets.


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Position paper | 17 Mar.2014

The paper sector social dialogue calls for boosting the re-industrialisation of the EU

The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) representing the employers in the paper industry and industriAll European Trade Union, representing 7.1 million workers across supply chains in manufacturing, mining and energy sectors are the Social Partners in the European Social Dialogue Committee for the paper sector.

In the current context of economic crisis, characterized by the decline of the manufacturing sectors, CEPI and industriAll Europe take note with great concern of the overall loss of competitiveness of the European manufacturing industries, which leads to capacity closures and job losses.
CEPI and industriAll Europe welcome the European industrial policy and its ambition to increase the contribution of the industries to 20% of the GDP by 2020. However, CEPI and industriAll believe it needs to go further in redressing the competitiveness of the manufacturing sectors.
The goal of a European industrial policy should be holistic and be directed towards safeguarding and even developing industrial activities and creating stable high quality employment while increasing efficiency and sustainability in the process, taking into account the more general objective of sustainable development.

However, high energy and raw material prices are undermining industrial growth in Europe, while our industry faces fierce competition from regions of the world where energy costs are much lower than in Europe.

Therefore, CEPI and industriAll Europe urge the European Institutions to establish the enabling and predictable conditions needed to fulfill the ambition to increase industry’s share of GDP by 20%. They ask the EU Institutions:

• To allow the industry time for adaptation, and to reduce the regulatory risks for companies, in light of the some 130 ambitious environmental targets the EU intends to achieve between 2010 and 2050.

• To carefully balance new targets in the field of climate change with considerations of increasing the competiveness of its industry and ensuring the security of energy supply with view on the absence of similar commitments from the EU main trade partners. It would be incoherent and suicidal to impose constraints on our industry while importing products that do not meet the same constraints. For the paper sector, the renewable energy policies subsidizing the use of biomass wood for burning are putting at risk the sustainable and cost-effective availability of raw materials.

• To improve the coordination of forthcoming policies and legislations – including the social ones - and shift the policy work to better and coherent regulation. As an example, the publication of a non legally-binding guidance note to clarify the implementation of the EU Timber Regulation leads in reality to a substantial modification the Regulation itself. Hence it may create legal uncertainty and additional burden for the European operators.

• To promote fair and balanced terms, including in energy, environmental and social terms, when negotiating trade agreements, which otherwise could negatively impact the competitiveness of the domestic industries.

• To further promote the Commission’s initiatives aiming at assessing the environmental regulatory layers (e.g. Cumulative Cost Assessment) and thus to create stable and enabling conditions for the European manufacturing sector keeping in mind its vision to enhance growth, safe and healthy jobs and competitiveness.

• To secure sufficient support, notably from the EU budget, for research and innovation as well as in training and qualifications of the workforce that can benefit the manufacturing industries of Europe.

At a time where the paper sector social partners are concerned about the difficulties to attract young people to work in the manufacturing industries – in particular as young people mostly see capacity closures in the EU and relocations -, only a strong and ambitious industrial policy with concrete measures benefitting all the industrial branches can reverse the trend and create the conditions for investments within the European Union.

The EU paper sector social dialogue brings together the paper workers and employers from the EU member States, represented by IndustriAll European Trade Union and CEPI.

Major challenges to the sector include falling demand for certain products and the shift towards CO2-neutral production. The move to more efficient use of raw materials and the contribution to a low-carbon economy within a forest-fibre industry combining pulp, paper and wood-based products will lead to a demand for new skills and qualifications and a need to (re-)train the workforce. The Committee is currently focusing on:

• health and safety
• skills and qualifications
• demographic change
• resources and raw material policies.

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Press Release | 11 Sep.2012

No paper without skilled, healthy and safe people

Today, CEPI and industriAllEurope launched a good practice report on health and safety in the European paper industry at a conference in Germany. CEPI – the Confederation of European Paper Industries – and industriAllEurope – the European Trade Union Federation – worked jointly on this new report compiling a set of 22 exemplary practices that were collected from members under the auspices of the paper sector social dialogue, funded with the support of the European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.

“In both our organisations - CEPI and industriAllEurope - we believe in the merits of awareness raising and sharing experiences. We hope that this report will be one of the reference tools for health and safety managers in the European paper industry. It should contribute to the indispensable effort to reduce health and safety risks at work in the sector on the route to “zero accidents”, said Teresa Presas, CEPI Director General.

The good practice report addresses different types of pulp and/or paper mills and the health and safety issues they may carry, as well as various kinds of activities (daily operation, transport and handling, maintenance) and can in most cases be adapted and transposed. The good practices included in the report are not exhaustive, but the report paves the way to identify more practices to be shared. It also illustrates the benefits of constructive co-operation towards a common goal.

“Producing pulp and paper in Europe requires the use of a wide range of resources, of which ‘people’ are the most important”, mentioned Jorma Rusanen from industriAllEurope in his presentation. ”We both - industriAllEurope and CEPI - invite our members to use and discuss the proposed practices. We also invite other industries to read the report and adapt the good practices to their own circumstances.”

This report is part of the EU-OSHA campaigns towards healthier and safer workplaces. It will be distributed to all pulp and paper mills in Europe.


For more information, interview or picture requests, please contact Daniela Haiduc at or +32 26 27 49 15

Note to the Editor

Link good practice report:
Conference webpage:
Conference photos and presentations:
EU-OSHA campaigns:
Social Dialogue:

CEPI aisbl - The Confederation of European Paper Industries
The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) is a Brussels-based non-profit making organisation regrouping the European pulp and paper industry and championing this industry’s achievements and the benefits of its products. Its collective expertise provides a unique source of information both for and on the industry; coordinating essential exchanges of experience and knowledge among its members, and with the industry stakeholders. Through its 18 member countries (17 European Union members plus Norway) CEPI represents some 520 pulp, paper and board producing companies across Europe, ranging from small and medium sized companies to multi-nationals, and 1000 paper mills. Together they represent 25% of world production.

Website: Email: Twitter: @EuropeanPaper

industriAll – European Trade Union / EMCEF
Three European Industry Federations, namely EMCEF (the European Mine, Chemical and Energy Workers’ Federation), EMF (the European Metalworkers’ Federation) and ETUF:TCL (the European Trade Union Federation Textiles, Clothing and Leather) created a new and stronger European trade union organisation that started operating in June 2012: industriAll – European Trade Union. industriAll Europe represents 7.1 million workers in industry and manufacturing jobs at European level. EMCEF used to organise 2.2 million blue and white-collar workers in companies in 35 countries and 131 national trade unions. industriAll Europe is a member of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and co-operates with 9 other European Industry Federations in the ETUC. industriAll Europe also works with the
IndustriAll Global Union which represents 50 million workers in 140 countries in the mining, energy and manufacturing sectors and is a new force globally taking up the fight for better working conditions and trade union rights around the world. industriAll Europe promotes social dialogue in an enlarged Europe and represents 11 sectoral social dialogue committees: Paper, Chemical, Electricity, Extractive Industries, Gas, Textile & Clothing, Foodwear, Tanning/Leather, Shipbuilding, Metal and Steel, and in addition the cross-sectoral NEPSI.
It also has a long-standing record in creating and co-ordinating European Works Councils. With over five hundred EWCs in all its sectors, industriAll Europe has been extremely active in shaping this particularly important element of the European social dialogue.

Website: Email: Twitter: @industriALL_EU

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Publication | 31 Aug.2012

No Paper without Skilled, Healthy and Safe People - EN/FR/DE

Producing pulp and paper in Europe requires the use of a wide range of resources (raw materials, energy, water, chemicals …), of which “people” are the most important.

Inherently, the pulp and paper making process may present risks to the health and safety of the workers. These risks can be related to the use of certain substances/products, to the running of the machines, to the exposure to high temperatures, to the transport and handling of loads of different kinds, to the maintenance of the production equipment, etc. In 2003, the European paper industry committed to an aspirational target of “zero accidents”. Together with the European paper workers’ union EMCEF and under the auspices of the paper sector social dialogue, the project of compiling a set of concrete good practices for safety and health at work has been initiated with the financial support of the European Commission. To develop this report, some 60 concrete practices have been received from EMCEF and CEPI members.

A reference group composed of workers’ and employers’ representatives, with an expertise in the topic, have selected the most exemplary 22 practices. These practices can apply to different types of pulp and/or paper mills, to different kinds of activities (daily operation, transport and handling, maintenance) and can in most cases be adapted and transposed. Considering the complexity of the pulp and paper manufacturing operations, those good practices which have been chosen can by no means be exhaustive, but the report paves the way to further identification of other good practices that can be shared and illustrates the benefits of constructive co-operation towards a common goal. Both EMCEF and CEPI believe in the merits of awareness raising and experience sharing and hope that this report will be one of the reference tools for health and safety managers in the European paper industry. It should contribute to the indispensable effort to reduce health and safety risks at work in the sector on the route to “zero accidents”.

Project description

On 20 October 2010, in the context of the European Paper Sector Social Dialogue, EMCEF and CEPI organised a workshop on health & safety practices in the European paper industries. Through presentations reflecting on different situations, mills and regions, the workshop gave the opportunity to identify the many aspects of prevention, protection and resolution of health and safety issues. When the opportunity of carrying out a joint project was identified, that would require a strong commitment of both EMCEF and CEPI and could be financially supported with EU funding, the paper sector partners chose to work together on awareness raising, information exchange and experience sharing on health and safety. The project that resulted in the current report of good practices has been steered by a pilot group composed
of representatives of the standing secretariats of both EMCEF and CEPI. To ensure the robustness and validity of the content, a reference group, composed of health and safety experts nominated by both organisations was set up. Both EMCEF and CEPI inquired about good health and safety practices in the paper sector by using a template questionnaire to ensure a minimum level of consistency in the replies.


French version

German version

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News | 10 Aug.2012

CEPI is partner of the 2012-2013 campaign 'Working together for risk prevention'

The Healthy Workplaces Campaign 2012–13 ‘Working together for risk prevention’ encourages managers, workers and other stakeholders to join forces to improve safety and health.

The Campaign is co-ordinated by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), and partners in the EU’s 27 Member States and beyond.

The 2012–13 Healthy Workplaces Campaign is decentralised and is designed to help national authorities, companies, organisations, managers, workers and their representatives and other stakeholders to work together to enhance health and safety in the workplace.

The campaign focuses on:

- risk prevention
- managing risks
- encouraging top managers to actively engage in risk reduction

Central to the campaign are a range of materials that will further these goals. These include reports, practical guides, flyers, posters and DVDs.

CEPI has just published a report along with EMCF entitled 'No Paper without Skilled, Healthy and Safe People'. View the report here.


Website campaign

Press Release | 20 Oct.2010

CEPI and EMCEF - European Paper Sector Confirms its Commitment to Health & Safety

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Press Release | 08 Dec.2009

CEPI and EMCEF launch Social Dialogue for the Paper Sector

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