Education, Youth and Culture Council: extracts from the joint press conference by Ondřej Liška, Czech Minister for Education, Youth and Sports and President in office of the Council, and Ján Figel'
Young people, who often find themselves in relatively precarious employment situations, are likely to be particularly vulnerable in the deteriorating economic situation. They will probably find it more difficult to access stable and good-quality jobs and this can have negative long-term effects on overall social cohesion. In this framework, Ministers for Youth propose to strengthen efforts to facilitate a smooth transition for young people from education, inactivity or unemployment to employment. And this by taking timely and effective actions against youth unemployment, applying the principles of flexicurity in their reform programmes. Ministers for Education add that higher and more efficient investment in human capital is needed. Efforts should be stepped up to ensure that education can fulfil its role in the knowledge triangle: education-research-innovation. Various forms of cooperation and partnership between education and training institutions on the one hand, and employers and other relevant stakeholders on the other, should be encouraged as a means of enhancing the long-term employability of all citizens through the acquisition of key competences and skills in a lifelong learning perspective. Since learning mobility also contributes to this, periods of learning abroad should gradually become the rule rather than the exception. SHOTLIST