Skills Development and Employability in Europe: The New Skills Agenda

Earlier this year the European Commission launched its “New Skills Agenda” (attention: not to be confounded with the Agenda for new skills and jobs of 2010).

The Skills Agenda proposes 10 actions to be taken forward over the next two years:

  • 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. The Council Recommendation for the Skills Guarantee calls on Member States to draw up within one year from its adoption, an action plan for implementation. The document is available in 23 EU languages and is available here.
  • 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.
  • A "Skills Profile Tool Kit 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.

More recently, a report has been issued focussing on “Skills Development and Employability in Europe: The New Skills Agenda”, which is available for download here:http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2016/587312/IPOL_STU(2016)587312_EN.pdf . The report summarises the discussions of a workshop on the topic which was held at the European Parliament in Brussels on Thursday 8 September 2016 as a common workshop for the Employment and Social Affairs and the Culture and Education Committees.