Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

News 08/03/2021

High-level forum on individual learning accounts, 4-5 March 2021: a new momentum for up- and reskilling?

The 2-day forum looked at individual learning accounts (ILA) as part of the solution to the EU objective of increasing adult participation in up- and reskilling, highlighted existing practices and examined both challenges and success factors.

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The forum is part of a broader consultation process getting underway to explore experience and potential of ILAs.  As Europe starts its path to recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and grapples with the digital and green transformations, adults need every opportunity to keep building their skills.

The forum brought together nearly 800 participants from 48 countries to discuss the current state of research concerning ILAs and other individual entitlements to training, presenting a diversity of approaches from EU Member States and beyond.

Opening the forum, Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights underlined: “Today, the digital and green transitions rapidly change the world of work. How many of us will retire in the same job in which we started our career? We need to manage this change to protect the individual workers. And the way to do this is to regularly up and re-skill. I am excited to learn how individual learning accounts can play a crucial role in this”. French Minister of Labour, Employment and Economic Inclusion, Élisabeth Borne, discussed the experience of ILAs in France. Other speakers included international organisations, social partners, business, Cedefop, and experts on diverse national approaches.

The forum highlighted that the time is right to make the first principle of the European Pillar of Social Rights, the right to lifelong learning, a reality for all. ILAs can play an important role, providing an additional impetus to re- and upskilling, and reaching out to those most in need of building their skills. In order to ensure success, funding should be embedded in effective adult learning systems that are based on solid labour market and skills information systems, and provide, outreach and guidance towards quality assured training, validation, strong social partner engagement, coordination and governance.

The open public consultation on ILAs will be launched in April and run for 12 weeks. 

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