Skill Needs for Sustainable Agri-Food and Forestry Sectors (II): Insights of a European Survey

Ana Ramalho Ribeiro*, Billy Goodburn, Luis Mayor, Line F. Lindner, Christoph F. Knöbl, Jacques Trienekens, Daniel Rossi, Francesca Sanna, Remigio Berruto, Patrizia Busato

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The agri-food and forestry sectors are in transition towards more sustainable, green, and innovative systems tackling several challenges posed by globalization, governance, and consumers’ demands. This transition to novel processes, markets, and businesses requires skills and competences to prepare the new generations and upskill the actual workforce. The purpose of this paper was to assess the skills and knowledge needs of future professionals in the agri-food and forestry sectors, from European stakeholders’ perspectives, by using a European questionnaire. Overall, respondents highlighted the importance of improving sustainability and soft and digital skills. In particular, food safety management and control; quality management and assurance of processes and product; efficient use of resources and organization; and planning, visioning, and strategic thinking skills ranked higher. In almost all countries, respondents had the perception that neither formal nor non-formal training covered training needs, though formal training was more suited to address education requirements. Both for organizations and individuals, it is far more relevant to have skills to perform than to have training recognition. The outcomes also provide findings that can be used to help develop updated curricula that meet the sector’s needs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4115
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • agri-food sector
  • bioeconomy
  • forestry sector
  • skills survey
  • skills training
  • sustainability


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