The European Commission has welcomed the recent political agreement on the European Year of Skills 2023. This agreement was reached by the European Parliament and the Council, and it paves the way for a year-long celebration of skills development and learning across Europe.
The European Year of Skills 2023 is a key initiative of the European Commission’s Skills Agenda for Europe. Following the announcement by President Ursula von der Leyen in her 2022 State of the Union address, the Commission submitted its proposal last October. The aim of the initiative is to raise awareness about the importance of skills and to promote the development of skills across all sectors and levels of society. The initiative also aims to encourage investment in skills development and to promote the recognition of skills and qualifications across Europe.
The European Commission has highlighted the importance of skills development in driving economic growth and ensuring social cohesion. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for individuals to be able to adapt to changing circumstances and to acquire new skills throughout their lives. The European Year of Skills 2023 will therefore play a crucial role in promoting lifelong learning and skills development across Europe.
The proposal of the Commission contains 4 main objectives that the European Year of Skills will pursue:
- Foster a more effective investment in training and upskilling to maximise the potential of the European workforce and assist people in transitioning from one job to another.
- Ensure that skills are applicable to the demands of the labour market, by also working with social partners and businesses.
- Matching people’s aspirations and skill sets with opportunities on the job market.
- Attracting people from third countries with the skills needed by the EU.
Programme of initiatives and activities and EYS Festival
The Year will be celebrated with a European Year of Skills Festival on 9 May 2023 – on Europe Day. The festival will link skills-related activities taking place concurrently across Europe. The Skills Year will run until May 2024, with many actions and initiatives to be launched and promoted. The European Commission has outlined a number of key objectives for the initiative, including promoting the development of digital skills, supporting the recognition of non-formal and informal learning, and encouraging investment in skills development.
The European Commission has also highlighted the role of employers in promoting skills development. The Commission has called on employers to invest in the skills of their employees and to promote a culture of learning within their organizations. The Commission has also called on employers to support the recognition of non-formal and informal learning and to encourage their employees to acquire new skills throughout their careers.
The European Year of Skills 2023 will also focus on promoting the recognition of skills and qualifications across Europe. The initiative will aim to ensure that Europeans can have their skills and qualifications recognized across Europe, thereby promoting mobility and employability across the EU. In this regard, also the European Digital Skills Awards 2023 also fall within this logic: they aim to reward projects and initiatives that are helping to bridge the digital gap. Applications are open and winners will be announced in June.
Among the main initiatives, the Commission will launch a Cyber Skills Academy aimed at increasing the number of professionals trained in cybersecurity to close the growing cyber talent gap. The Academy will bring together existing initiatives to close the cyber skills gap and respond to the needs of the cybersecurity job market. Check out the Platform soon for more information about it.
The European Commission has emphasized the importance of collaboration in promoting skills development. The Commission has called on all stakeholders, including governments, employers, education and training providers, and civil society organizations, to work together to promote the development of skills across Europe. The Commission has also highlighted the importance of involving individuals in the initiative, and has called on individuals to take ownership of their own learning and skills development. Which is why a number of new EU proposals will be adopted to underpin ongoing efforts and further boost skills development across the Member States.
The European Commission has called on all stakeholders to work together to promote the development of skills across Europe, and has emphasized the importance of involving individuals in the initiative. The full programme of activities and further information can be found on the dedicated European Year’s website.
The political agreement reached by the European Parliament, Council and Commission is now subject to formal approval by the European Parliament and the Council. To ensure the coordination of the European Year’s activities at national level, the Commission called on Member States to nominate a national coordinator.