Close to 70 million Europeans struggle with
Without these skills they are at higher risk of unemployment, poverty and social exclusion.
In June 2016, the Commission proposed the setting up of a ''Skills Guarantee" to address this challenge. The resulting initiative, now called "Upskilling Pathways" was adopted by the Council on 19 December 2016.
It aims to help adults acquire a minimum level of literacy, numeracy and digital skills and/or acquire a broader set of skills by progressing towards an upper secondary qualification or equivalent (level 3 or 4 in the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) depending on national circumstances).
Upskilling Pathways targets adults with a low level of skills, e.g. those without upper secondary education and who are not eligible for Youth Guarantee support.
They may be in employment, unemployed or economically inactive, with a need to strengthen basic skills. Member States may define priority target groups for this initiative depending on the national circumstances.
To boost access to and take up of quality learning opportunities, adults with low levels of skills would have access to Upskilling Pathways in three key steps.
This is to enable adults to identify their existing skills and any needs for upskilling. It may take the form of a "skills audit": a statement of the individual's skills that can be the basis for planning a tailored offer of learning.
The beneficiary will receive an offer of education and training meeting the needs identified by the skills assessment. The offer should aim to boost literacy, numeracy or digital skills or allow progress towards higher qualifications aligned to labour market needs.
The beneficiary will have the opportunity to have the skills she or he has acquired validated and recognised.
Delivery will build on existing structures and vary across Member States. Many countries already offer elements of Upskilling Pathways and can build on this as they implement this new initiative in cooperation with social partners, education and training providers, and local and regional authorities etc.
Delivering the initiative will be based upon
The Commission will support Member States in implementing the Upskilling pathways. Financial support could be provided through the
Beyond the €27 billion ESF funding to be invested in education, training, skills and life-long learning, from 2014 to 2020, a further € 21.2 billion are available for social inclusion and €30.8 billion for sustainable and quality employment. Member States planned to reach out to around 8 million low qualified individuals through ESF only, through the education and training funding.
The Upskilling Pathways initiative is a key building block of the European Pillar of Social Rights, which promotes
in order to support fair and well-functioning labour markets and welfare systems.
Adult education and training is a crucial component of the Commission's long term strategy.
Upskilling Pathways is the main legislative proposal of the "New Skills Agenda for Europe". The Agenda is a key policy priority for the European Union for 2017, adopted on 10 June 2016. It includes 10 proposed actions to be taken in the next two years.
The Electronic Platform for Adult Learning (EPALE) is a multilingual open membership community for
As well as a wealth of information about good practices, EPALE hosts "Communities of Practice" - online groups where people with similar interests from the adult learning sector can get together to make a difference by building a common space for exchanging information, opinions, and good practices. Here you can join the community of practice on Upskilling Pathways.