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Youth Policy Watch - Skills development

16/06/2016

As presented in the article on Education, it is very important to follow up on the field of skills development which can foster the recognition of NFE and its educational importance. Starting with Skill Agenda, which was mention in the article in Education, YEU followed the meeting of stakeholders with Ana Carla Pereira, head of the skills unit in DG Employment. During this meeting, Ms Pereira introduced the plans for the upcoming Skills Agenda which participants got to give feedback on.

The main priorities will be:

  • Ensuring higher and more relevant skills for all;
  • Promoting better visibility and use of available skills, including of EU mobile workers and third-country nationals;
  • Reaching a better understanding of skills needs and trends in the labour market.

In this framework, there are plans to update the 8 key competences framework (whether the 8 competences are still the relevant ones and how to improve its use) while being connected to the development of the entrepreneurship and digital framework.

The European Youth Forum, which YEU is member of, welcomed the European Commission’s New Skills Agenda for Europe and called on member states to invest in young people’s skills in order to help tackle youth unemployment and social exclusion and ensure that no one, including young migrants, is left behind.

More specifically on the background, the EU Commissionannouncedthe adoption of the Communication and Proposals for the New Skills Agenda for Europe by the College of Commissioners, during a press conference. Basic Skills, Inclusion of migrants, upskilling and validation were on the menu of Commissioner Thyssen (Employment and Social Affairs) and Katainen's (Vice-President of the EC in charge of Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness) interventions. Commissioner Thyssen also stated that "we need to develop a culture of lifelong learning at the heart of what we do", a statement that hopefully can be understood as a motion of confidence in the ideas that YFJ carries as a platform such as developed in their Skills Agenda Position Paper.

Parallel to the Agenda, the EC announced some other actions related to the skills field. Specifically, they presented a Skills Guarantee in order to help low-skilled adults acquire a minimum level of literacy, numeracy and digital skills and progress towards an upper secondary qualification. Additionally, the 'Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition' to support co-operation among education, employment and industry stakeholdersd and the 'Blueprint for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills’ to improve skills intelligence and address skills shortages in specific economic sectors.

At the same time, during 2016 and 2017, the process will include the launching of other actions as well. First, a 'Skills Profile Tool Kit for Third Country Nationals' in order to support early identification and profiling of skills and qualifications of asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants. Parallel, there will be a revision of the Europass Framework, offering people better and easier-to-use tools to present their skills and get useful real-time information on skills needs and trends which can help with career and learning choices. The proposal to revise the Europass Framework has been scheduled for Q3 of 2016. Additionally, making Vocational Education and Training (VET) a first choice by enhancing opportunities for VET learners to undertake a work based learning experience and promoting greater visibility of good labour market outcomes of VET.

Also, in this process a review of the Recommendation on Key Competences will take place to help more people acquire the core set of skills necessary to work and live in the 21st century with a special focus on promoting entrepreneurial and innovation-oriented mind-sets and skills. Finally, there is the proposal for an initiative on graduate tracking to improve information on how graduates progress in the labour market and to further analyse and exchange best practices on effective ways to address brain drain.


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