New Skills Agenda launched

On 20 June the European Commission organised a high-level event to launch the New Skills Agenda for Europe to boost human capital, employability and competitiveness, adopted on 10 June 2016. EPA was represented at the event by Vice President Janko Korosec.
On 10 June, European Commissioners Thyssen and Katainen announced the adoption of a new and comprehensive Skills Agenda for Europe, that was officially launched at the Brussels event. The aim of this new policy framework is to ensure that the right training, skills and support is available to European Union citizens and to equip them for good-quality jobs and help them fulfil their potential as confident, active citizens. According to the communication of the EC it will ultimately boost employability, competitiveness and growth in Europe. The agenda includes provisions for non-EU citizens and their inclusion in education and the labour market.

Increasing skills levels, promoting transversal skills and finding ways to better anticipate the labour market’s needs, partially based on dialogue with civil society and the private sector are essential to support inclusive and cohesive societies and sustainable economies. The Agenda calls on Member States, social partners, the industry and stakeholders to work together to strengthen human capital, employability and competitiveness by improving the quality of skills and their relevance for the labour market, making skills more visible an comparable and improving skills intelligence and information for better career choices. Concretely, the Commission proposes 10 actions to be taken forward over the next two years, some of which were launched on 20 June, such as the Skills Guarantee.
The launch event gathered an audience from a wide spectrum of employment and education stakeholders and featured high-level speakers from European and international institutions. It was a highly interactive event offering opportunities to network and build partnerships for skills.
Before the launch the EC organised a consultation with civil society in March 2016, and EPA published a policy paper on parents' concerns about the draft that you can read here. The paper does not answer most of our concerns, especially does not have a holistic approach to education, and we have not found answers to the validation challenges, so we will keep lobbying at the EC and the European Parliament to reach reassuring solutions.
At the same time the LLL Platform has welcomed the paper saying that 'not forgetting the current migration flows, the agenda includes provisions for non-EU citizens and their inclusion in education and the labour market, such as developed in (their) recent Policy Paper'.
New Skills Agenda For Europe
The new Skills Agenda for Europe launches a number of actions to ensure that the right training, the right skills and the right support is available to people in the European Union. It will aim at making better use of the skills that are available; equip people with the new skills that are needed - to help them find quality jobs and improve their life chances. The Commission invites Members States, social partners, the industry and other stakeholders towork together to:
  • improve the quality and relevance of skills formation
  • make skills more visible and comparable
  • improve skills intelligence and information for better career choices
This is set out in the Communication: A New Skills Agenda for Europe - Working together to strengthen human capital, employability and competitiveness.
The Commission proposes 10 actions to be taken forward over the next two years. A number are announced with the adoption of the new Skills Agenda for Europe on 10 June 2016:
  • 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 and the related annexes 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' to support co-operation among education, employment and industry stakeholders.
  • 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 in 2016 and in 2017:
  • 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.
Source used: ec.europa.eu

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