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In the framework of the EU Industry Days and EU Industry Week 2021, Singapore’s European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham) and the EU Delegation to Singapore will organise the webinar “Are we ready for the future? Shaping flexible and innovative skills policy worldwide”.


EU Industry Days is Europe’s flagship annual event on industry. It serves as the main platform to discuss industrial challenges and co-develop opportunities and policy responses in an inclusive dialogue with a wide range of partners. It also helps to ensure that policies at European, national, regional and local levels work together to enable European industry to deliver jobs, growth and innovation in Europe. This event will contribute to feed the ongoing reflections for a new European Industrial Strategy announced for 2021 by the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen in her State of the Union Speech.



The COVID-19 pandemic has brought digital transformation to the forefront for governments and businesses in ASEAN by bridging processes, systems, and data and this to thrive in the new normal. Also, the green revolution has been a long time in the making, but the past few months have seen a spike in interest. This rapid shift towards climate neutrality and digital transformation is changing the way we work, learn, take part in society and lead our everyday lives.


Additionally, the economic downturn is accelerating job displacement and the jobs that disappeared as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic may not be the same that return as the economy recovers. Though, with job displacement may come opportunity. The EU and Singapore can only grasp these opportunities if they sufficiently support and facilitate reskilling and redeployment solutions. Both are adopting new initiatives and providing funding to support training and redeployment programmes to secure their workforce. Those programmes are most effectively undertaken in partnerships involving public and private sectors, academia and civil society. In a recent survey published by EuroCham, companies have flagged the importance to address the growing digital “skill gap”.


The virtual webinar will offer the opportunity to EU and Singapore policymakers and industry representatives to exchange on latest policies and actions undertaken to: i) address talent and skills gaps – with a focus on digital ones – in important industry ecosystems (e.g. aeronautics; cybersecurity; green); and ii) reinforce the exchange among the public, private and academia. The webinar will help to establish a more structured dialogue between the EU and Singapore in this area benefiting ongoing initiatives on both sides.



Opening remarks:

  • H.E. Barbara Plinkert, EU Ambassador to Singapore
  • Mr Federico Donato, President of EuroCham Singapore

Setting the scene: Views from EU and Singapore

Video Message from EU Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit

Panel discussion

Moderator: Simonetta Cook, Member of the Cabinet of the President of the European Council, Charles Michel


  • Slawomir Tokarski, Director responsible for industrial policy and skills, European Commission (DG GROW);
  • Dr Gog Soon Joo, Chief Skills Officer, SkillsFuture Singapore;
  • Tiffany Rose, Vice President, Legal Counsel for HERE Technologies;
  • Mervin Toh, Founder, OPSolutions


Singapore has always been at the forefront in the development of innovative and flexible skills policies and initiatives (e.g. SGUnited, SkillsFuture; Singapore Cyber Talent Initiative; etc.). It is home to over 10 000 EU companies and the EU’s largest trading partner in the Southeast Asian region. Furthermore, we share a similar outlook on open markets on the importance of rules-based multilateral order. The workshop could kick off a dialogue on skills policies in Singapore on the one hand and in the European Union (EU) on the other.



Nicolas Schmit
European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights
European Commission

Nicolas Schmit took up office as European Commissioner responsible for Jobs and Social Rights in December 2019. Prior to this, and following a long career of public service in his native Luxembourg, he took up duty as Permanent Representative of Luxembourg to the EU in 1998 for a six-year term. In 2004, he was appointed Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs and Immigration.

From 2009 to 2018, he held the position of Minister for Labour and Employment in the Luxembourgish government. He served as a Member of the European Parliament for the social-democratic Lëtzebuerger Sozialistesch Aarbechterpartei following his election in May 2019. Nicolas Schmit holds a Doctorate in International Economic Relations and a Masters in French Literature from the University of Aix-Marseille.



Slawomir Tokarski
Director for Industrial Policy and Innovation
Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SME’s
European Commission

Slawomir Tokarski obtained PhD degree at the European University Institute in Florence in 1995. He joined the Polish administration and headed a team coordinating the preparations for the accession negotiations and preparing policy analysis for the Chief Negotiator. In 2004 he joined the Commission as a Cabinet member of the Commissioner responsible for the regional policy. In 2009 he was nominated Head of Unit dealing with economic policy and co-ordination of EU funding in DG MARE. In March 2012 he became a Head of Defence, Aeronautics and Maritime industries in DG Enterprise. Since 2016, Mr Slawomir Tokarski became Director in Directorate for Industrial Policy and Innovation (DG GROW).




Dr Gog Soon Joo
Chief Futurist, Chief Skills Officer, Chief Research Officer
SkillsFuture SG

Gog Soon Joo is the Chief Skills Officer at the SkillsFuture Singapore Agency, and has held a number of posts in Singapore government.  She leads a team of Jobs-Skills Analysts, Data Scientists, and Futurists, to identify global trends that impact business, jobs and skills. Soon-Joo and her team work with local and international partners to prototype solutions in the areas of future of work, future of learning and future skills. Her research interests include capitalism in the digital economy, new economy firms, skills ecosystems and skills policies. 



Tiffany Rose
Vice President, Legal Counsel
HERE Technologies

Experienced Vice President and Regional General Counsel with a demonstrated history of working in the technology, hospitality and professional services industries and leading high performing teams. Qualified in, and having lived and worked in, Australia, England & Wales and the US (California), Tiffany is skilled in technology transactions; cross-border commercial and M&A transactions; global reorganizations, restructurings, spin-offs, expansions and post-acquisition integrations; corporate governance and risk management; strategy planning and implementation; government relations; and employment counselling. Strong professional with a passion for executive leadership, talent development and mentoring, Tiffany also has a strong interest in board governance and is a Graduate (Order of Merit) of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.



Mervin Toh

Mervin Toh is the founder of OPSOLUTIONS, a Singapore digital technology company of 11 years with regional branches. Leading the development of various customized software solutions, he understands the digital challenges faced by companies and helps them tap into opportunities to bolster their growth. Guiding companies with their digital transformation, he works towards building a strong community by strengthening brand and consumer engagement.




Simonetta Cook
Member of the Cabinet of the President of the European Council, Charles Michel
European Commission

Simonetta COOK is a political advisor to the President of the European Council, Charles Michel. She counsels him on digital policy, inter-institutional relations and preparations for leaders’ European Council meetings.

Specialised in EU law, having attended University College London and the College of Europe in Bruges, Simonetta worked in private practice on corporate and EU regulatory law before beginning her career in the EU institutions. She has gained experience in the European Parliament, the Council and now European Council. She has advised on legislative drafting, negotiation strategies, political messaging and strategic planning.