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The Commission adopts a new and comprehensive Skills Agenda for Europe

The aim of the Skills Agenda is to ensure that people develop a broad set of skills from early in life and to make the most of Europe’s human capital, which will ultimately boost employability, competitiveness and growth in Europe.

70 million Europeans lack adequate reading and writing skills, and even more have poor numeracy and digitals skills. This puts them at risk of unemployment, poverty and social exclusion. On the other hand, a large number of Europeans, particularly high-qualified young people, work in jobs that do not match their talents and aspirations. At the same time, 40% of European employers report that they cannot find people with the right skills to grow and innovate.

For all these reasons the Commission considers that increasing skills levels, promoting transversal skills and finding ways to better anticipate the labour market's needs, including based on dialogue with the industry, are  essential to improve people's chances in life, and support fair, inclusive and sustainable growth as well as cohesive societies.

To help tackle skills challenges, the Commission puts forward 10 actions which will address these issues and make skills more visible and improve their recognition at local, national and EU levels, from schools and universities to the labour market. 

Concretely, the Commission proposes 10 actions to be taken forward over the next two years, some of which will be launched today:

  • A Skills Guarantee to help low-skilled adults acquire a minimum level of literacy, numeracy and digital skills and progress towards an upper secondary qualification.
  • A review of the European Qualifications Framework for a better understanding of qualifications and to make better use of all available skills in the European labour market.
  • The "Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition" bringing together Member States and education, employment and industry stakeholders to develop a large digital talent pool and ensure that individuals and the labour force in Europe are equipped with adequate digital skills.
  • The ‘Blueprint for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills’ to improve skills intelligence and address skills shortages in specific economic sectors.

Other actions will be launched later this year and in 2017:

  • A "Skills Profile Tool for Third Country Nationals" to support early identification and profiling of skills and qualifications of asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants.
  • A revision of the Europass Framework, offering people better and easier-to-use tools to present their skills and get useful real-time information on skills needs and trends which can help with career and learning choices.
  • Making Vocational Education and Training (VET) a first choice by enhancing opportunities for VET learners to undertake a work based learning experience and promoting greater visibility of good labour market outcomes of VET.

 A review of the Recommendation on Key Competences to help more people acquire the core set of skills necessary to work and live in the 21st century with a special focus on promoting entrepreneurial and innovation-oriented mind-sets and skills.

  • An initiative on graduate tracking to improve information on how graduates progress in the labour market.
  • A proposal to further analyse and exchange best practices on effective ways to address brain drain

For more information see EC DG EAC website

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