The youth unemployment rate is close to 23% across the European Union – yet at the same time there are more than 2 million vacancies that cannot be filled.
Europe needs a radical rethink on how education and training systems can deliver the skills needed by the labour market. The challenge could not be tougher in the context of widespread austerity measures and cuts in education budgets.
Today, the European Commission is launching a new strategy called Rethinking Education to encourage 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.
Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said: "Rethinking education is not just of question of money: whilst it is true that we need to invest more in education and training, it is clear that education systems also need to modernise and be more flexible in how they operate to respond to the real needs of today's society. Europe will only resume sustained growth by producing highly skilled and versatile people who can contribute to innovation and entrepreneurship. Efficient and well-targeted investment is fundamental to this, but we will not achieve our objectives by reducing education budgets."