EU Updated Skills Agenda – right content, but timely delivery will be crucial

EU Updated Skills Agenda – right content, but timely delivery will be crucial

01/07/2020

EUROCHAMBRES is broadly satisfied with the content of the updated European Commission Skills Agenda published today, but highlights the need to proceed swiftly with implementation of the already delayed package to respond to the skills needs of businesses struggling to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

 Two of the main causes of Europe’s growing skills gap are slow adaptability of schools to the needs of the economy and insufficient adaptability of the workforce. This Skills Agenda addresses these challenges, but these must be rapidly converted into action on the labour market if they are to help our businesses”, stated Christoph Leitl, President of EUROCHAMBRES.

EUROCHAMBRES welcomes several new initiatives included in the updated Skills Agenda. The Pact for skills, the European approach to micro-credentials and a European Action on Entrepreneurship Skills all correspond with proposals tabled by the association of Chambers of Commerce & Industry, and can help narrow the skills gap.

EUROCHAMBRES has long argued that successful implementation requires measurable indicators and is therefore satisfied with the ambitious goal of 70% of adults having at least basic digital skills by 2025, and the establishment of three quantitative objectives for vocational education & training (VET).

EUROCHAMBRES welcomes the proposals on modernising VET systems and better coordination of VET policies. “We need the right kind of VET across the whole of Europe that puts it on an equal footing with general education, and strengthens the work-based learning component,” added President Leitl.

The true value of the new Skills Agenda will depend on its timely delivery as millions of businesses across Europe struggle to recover from the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.