The new Skills Agenda for Europe, adopted by the Commission on 10 June 2016, launched 10 actions to make the right training, skills and support available to people in the EU. The goals and actions on the Agenda are set out in Communication: a new Skills Agenda for Europe.
The 10 actions are designed to:
- improve the quality and relevance of training and other ways of acquiring skills
- make skills more visible and comparable
- improve information and understanding of trends and patterns in demands for skills and jobs (skills intelligence) to enable people make better career choices, find quality jobs and improve their life chances.
All ten actions have been launched and where appropriate agreed by the Council and Parliament. All are currently delivering on the ground to help people in communities across Europe advance their skills.
The Commission also calls on EU countries, employers' associations, trade unions, industry and other interested parties to continue to work together to ensure that these initiatives produce the best possible outcomes.
Upskilling pathways: new opportunities for adults
The Council adopted the Recommendation on upskilling pathways: new opportunities for adults in December 2016. The Commission is now working with EU countries and other interested parties to implement the recommendation, helping low-skilled 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.
European Qualifications Framework
The Council adopted the revised European Qualifications Framework and the related annexes in May 2017. The Commission is now working with EU countries and other interested parties to implement the new recommendation so as to support better understanding of qualifications and make better use of all available skills in the European labour market.
Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition
The Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition to support cooperation among education, employment and industry stakeholders was launched in December 2016 with the goal of improving the digital skills of the wider population, not just IT professionals. 23 national Digital Skills and Jobs Coalitions are already in place and 100 organisations have pledged action towards providing digital skills.
Blueprint for sectoral cooperation on skills
The blueprint for sectoral cooperation on skills to improve skills intelligence and address skills shortages in specific economic sectors was launched in January 2017. So far, projects have begun in fifteen sectors. These focus on emerging sectors like additive manufacturing (3D printing) or batteries for electro-mobility as well as traditional sectors experiencing significant changes in the skills needed, like the steel industry or construction. A further six sectors will be added in 2020.
EU skills profile tool for third-country nationals
A EU skills profile tool for third-country nationals to support early identification of skills of asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants was launched at a stakeholders' conference in June 2017. The tool is now available in all EU languages (except Irish) and in Arabic, Farsi, Pashto, Sorani, Somali, Tigrinya and Turkish.
Vocational education and training (VET)
The Commission is continuing to work on a set of measures to support the modernisation of vocational education and training (VET), in line with the policy priorities defined in the 2015 Riga Conclusions. A series of events and activities within the European Vocational Skills Week aim to make VET a first choice.
The Council adopted the revised Recommendation on key competences for lifelong learning in May 2018 setting out a core set of skills necessary to work and live in the 21st century.
The European Parliament and the Council agreed in April 2018 a revised decision on Europass - the common framework for the provision of better services for skills and qualifications. The new Europass framework will offer people better tools to present their skills and obtain useful real-time information on skills needs and trends which can help with career and learning choices.
The Council agreed a Recommendation on graduate tracking to improve understanding of graduates' performance after their education and training experiences.
Analysing and sharing of best practice on brain flows
The Commission published an independent study analysing brain drain within Europe and organised peer learning between countries and experts in this field. This peer learning sought to identify policies and measures to manage this phenomenon, and led to a repository of practices from around Europe.