What is it about?
While the responsibility for education and training systems lies with the Member States, the EU has a key role in supporting and supplementing efforts to improve and modernise their education systems.
In a globalised and knowledge-based economy, Europe requires a well-skilled workforce to ensure that it can compete in terms of productivity, quality, and innovation. This is even more the case during times of rapid technological and societal change. Recent evidence, however, suggests that there is a growing mismatch of skills between the workforce and labour market, factors which contribute to unemployment and limit growth.
As such, in line with the goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy, the priorities include:
- to align skills with labour markets;
- to reduce the number of early school-leavers to below 10%; and
- to increase the share of graduates from tertiary education to at least 40%.
How does it work?
During the European Semester the European Commission carries out country analysis in various policy areas supporting Member States to achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. This includes education and training policy. This allows Member States to address challenges identified at EU, national, and/or regional level. It also helps them assess progress on implementing the necessary reforms, as well as investment needs.
In the context of the Europe 2020 Strategy for growth and jobs, a series of country-specific recommendations are then issued in the first half of the year (the European Semester) to help Member States tackle the most urgent challenges.
In addition, each year the Education and Training Monitor provides an updated analysis on the challenges, based on a set of benchmarks. This also contributes to evidence-based policy making.