Press conference by Androulla Vassiliou on the new Rethinking Education strategy
Type: Summary of press conference
End production: 20/11/2012 First transmission: 20/11/2012
At a press conference on 20 November 2012 in Strasbourg, in the margins of the EP plenary session, Androulla Vassiliou, Member of the EC in charge of Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, launched a new strategy called "Rethinking Education" to encourage EU Member States to take immediate action to ensure that young people develop the skills and competences needed by the labour market and to achieve their targets for growth and jobs.
Rethinking Education calls for a fundamental shift in education, with more focus on "learning outcomes" - the knowledge, skills and competences that students acquire. Merely having spent time in education is no longer sufficient. In addition, basic literacy and numeracy still needs to be significantly improved, and entrepreneurial skills and a sense of initiative need to be developed or strengthened.
The strategy also calls on Member States to strengthen links between education and employers, to bring enterprise into the classroom and to give young people a taste of employment through increased work-based learning.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||General view of the press conference room
||SOUNDBITE by Androulla Vassiliou, Member of the EC in charge of Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, (in ENGLISH) saying that youth unemployment is approaching 23% across Europe and at the same time we have over 2 million unfilled job vacancies; the knowledge economy continues to increase demand for higher skills but more than 70 million Europeans have only low or no formal qualifications.
||SOUNDBITE by Androulla Vassiliou (in ENGLISH) saying that Europe will only resume growth by producing highly skilled workers who can contribute to innovation and entrepreneurship; efficient investment in education and training is fundamental to this; Member States need to address the challenge of improving education and training while consolidating public finance; that is why education and training is high on the agenda for renewed growth in Europe; rethinking education makes a case for immediate action and investment in education and training, in line with the forthcoming Annual Growth Survey.
||Cutaway of press
||SOUNDBITE by Androulla Vassiliou (in ENGLISH) saying that if the EU is to combat youth unemployment, the link between education systems and the labour market must be strengthened at all levels; the Commission's analysis reveals major differences between Member States in the provision of key competences; the EU needs to see concrete action plans to address system-related weaknesses which result in insufficient levels of both basic and transversal skills; apprenticeships are one very effective way to do this; saying that she urges all Member States to develop more work-based learning schemes.
||SOUNDBITE by Androulla Vassiliou (in ENGLISH) on accessibility, asking how can education and training systems enhance open and flexible learning?; saying that the EU has to ensure people have the versatility to cope with changing times and labour markets - and this means that education cannot be limited only to a few years; research also foresees that worldwide demand for university studies will greatly exceed the capacity of the existing system in the coming decades; it is essential that Member States create flexible options, such as high quality distance learning; widening access and engagement through Open Education is a necessity; technology will play a crucial role in this; the EU should facilitate the recognition and transparency of all qualifications, including those gained outside formal education.
||End of the press conference