The European Commission has launched the European Skills Agenda for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience. It sets ambitious, quantitative objectives for upskilling (improving existing skills) and reskilling (training in new skills) to be achieved within the next 5 years. Its 12 actions focus on skills for jobs by partnering up with Member States, companies and social partners to work together for change, by empowering people to embark on lifelong learning, and by using the EU budget as a catalyst to unlock public and private investment in people’s skills.
The aim is to ensure that the right to training and lifelong learning, enshrined in the European Pillar of Social rights, becomes a reality all across Europe, from cities to remote and rural areas, to the benefit of everyone. The Commission is placing skills at the heart of the EU policy agenda, steering investment in people and their skills for a sustainable recovery after the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses need workers with the skills required to master the green and digital transitions, and people need to be able to get the right education and training to thrive in life.
Margaritis Schinas, Vice-President for Promoting the European Way of Life, said: “This unprecedented crisis needs an unprecedented answer. One that will serve us today and for many years to come. Today, the European Commission calls on EU Member States to invest in skills. The billions of EU funding put forward in the EU Recovery Plan and future long-term EU budget provide a unique opportunity to do so. We already know that skills are what allow people and our economies to thrive. Now, it is time to join hands and unlock a skills revolution, leaving nobody behind.”
Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, said: “The skilling of our workforces is one of our central responses to the recovery, and providing people the chance to build the skillsets they need is key to preparing for the green and digital transitions. It gives everyone the possibility to benefit from new opportunities in a fast-moving labour market.”
Skills for jobs in a green and digital economy
The green and digital transitions as accompanied by demographic trends are transforming how we live, work and interact. We want to ensure people have the skills they need to thrive. The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated these transitions and brought new career challenges for many people in Europe. In the aftermath of the crisis, many Europeans will need to retrain in a new skill or improve their existing skills to adapt to the changed labour market. The Skills Agenda aims to improve the relevance of skills in the EU to strengthen sustainable competitiveness, ensure social fairness and build our resilience. It does this through 12 “actions”.
- A Pact for Skills
- Strengthening skills intelligence
- EU support for strategic national upskilling action
- Proposal for a Council Recommendation on Vocational Education and Training for sustainable competiveness, social fairness and resilience
- Rolling out the European universities initiative and upskilling scientists
- Skills to support the green and digital transitions
- Increasing STEM graduates and fostering entrepreneurial and transversal skills
- Skills for Life
- Initiative on Individual Learning Accounts
- A European approach to micro-credentials
- New Europass Platform
- Improving the enabling framework to unlock Member States’ and private investments in skills
More details on each of the 12 flagship actions can be found in the accompanying Q&A.