A Conceptual Framework for Workforce Skills for Industry 5.0: Implications for Research, Policy and Practice

Main Article Content

Peter R.A. Oeij
Karolien Lenaerts
Steven Dhondt
Wietse van Dijk
Doris Schartinger
Sabrina R. Sorko
Chris Warhurst


Industry 5.0 is a relatively new topic and not yet well-defined. This article’s purpose is to develop understanding of Industry 5.0 by offering a new socio-centric conceptual framework. It extends prevailing perception of Industry 5.0 by integrating workforce skills, labour shortages, and eco-digital shifts. The study explores workforce skill measurement and its implementation. Three methods were combined to develop the conceptual framework: (i) review of academic and policy literature; (ii) scholarly and expert discussions; (iii) consultations with practitioners, companies and networks on Industry 5.0’s relevance. Industry 5.0 expands Industry 4.0's technology-focused approach. This new paradigm emphasises human-centricity, sustainability and resilience, infusing societal values into organisational management. Our findings suggest that, while firmly rooted in EU policy, Industry 5.0 must find integration at national levels and within pertinent ecosystems. This article introduces innovative perspectives on conceptualising and evaluating workforce skills for Industry 5.0. Mitigating skills gaps is crucial in enabling companies and employees to leverage the eco-digital shift, fostering sustainability, resilience and equity across Europe. A limitation to understanding Industry 5.0 is that policy discussions run ahead of collecting empirical data. As a consequence, one must be careful in drawing firm conclusions. While prior research underscores the need for skilled workforces in Industry 5.0, it falls short of elucidating evolving job dynamics in the Industry 5.0 transition. This article addresses this gap by examining the evolving job landscape, skills, and learning trajectories.

Article Details

Author Biographies

Peter R.A. Oeij, TNO, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, Anna van Buerenplein 1, 2595 DA Den Haag, Netherlands

Senior research scientist at TNO

Karolien Lenaerts, HIVA / KU Leuven, Belgium

HIVA, research manager

Steven Dhondt, TNO, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, Netherlands; and KU Leuven, Belgium

Senior research scientist  at TNO, professor at KU Leuven

Wietse van Dijk, TNO, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, Netherlands

Senior research scientist at TNO

Doris Schartinger, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology

Economist in the Center for Innovation Systems and Policy at the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology. 

Sabrina R. Sorko, JOANNEUM University of Applied Sciences, Institute Industrial Management, Austria

Senior lecturer

Chris Warhurst, Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick, United Kingdom

Prof. dr. FRSA FAcSS, Professor and Director of the Warwick Institute for Employment Research at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom; Associate Research Fellow of SKOPE at the University of Oxford