European Skills Agenda for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience

On 1 July 2020, the European Commission presented a new Skills Agenda setting ambitious objectives for upskilling and reskilling for the next five years.

The Agenda has 12 actions that focus on skills for jobs by partnering up with Member States, companies and social partners to work together for change, by empowering people to embark on lifelong learning, and by using the EU budget as a catalyst to unlock public and private investment in people’s skills.

The aim is to ensure that the right to training and lifelong learning, enshrined in the European Pillar of Social Rights, becomes a reality all across Europe, from cities to remote and rural areas, to the benefit of everyone.

A major deliverable will be a new Pact for Skills to be launched in November 2020 during the Skills Week. It sets ambitious quantitative objectives at EU level and outlines how the EU will support investments for skills.

The Communication on the EU Skills Agenda is accompanied by a few documents, including a very important one for the vocational education and training Commission proposal for a Council Recommendation on vocational education and training (VET) for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience. This proposal provides solutions to ensure that VET equips the workforce with skills to support both the recovery and the green and digital transitions, while ensuring inclusiveness. It also puts forward EU level actions to support VET reform and clear quantitative objectives. The proposal is accompanied by a Commission Staff Working Document.

The proposal states that member states should work towards achieving by 2025 the following objectives:

  • the share of employed graduates should be at least 82%;
  • 60% of recent graduates from VET benefit from exposure to work-based learning during their vocational education and training65;
  • 8% of learners in VET benefit from a learning mobility abroad.

It suggests that member states should deploy actions in accordance with 23 principles under the following groups:

  • Vocational education and training is agile in adapting to dynamic labour market changes
  • Flexibility and progression opportunities are at the core of vocational education and training
  • Vocational education and training is a driver for innovation and growth and prepares for the digital and green transitions and occupations in high demand
  • Vocational education and training is an attractive choice based on modern and digitalised provision of training/skills
  • Vocational education and training promotes equality of opportunities
  • Vocational education and training is underpinned by a culture of quality assurance

You can see all the principles following the link to the Proposal above.

The proposal is accompanied by


Images and information from EU Commission communication and factsheets referenced above

Featured image Mat Reding on Unsplash