Following up on the announcement of President Ursula von der Leyen in her 2022 State of the Union address, the Commission adopted a proposal to officially make 2023 the European Year of Skills.
The green and digital transitions are opening up new opportunities for Europeans and the economy of the EU. In this regard, it is essential to equip all Europeans with the knowledge and skills needed to face the future, both at work and in daily life.
Nevertheless, today more than 75 percent of businesses in the EU say it is difficult to find staff with the required skills, and the most recent data from Eurostat show that just 37 percent of adults regularly attend training. The most recent DESI 2022 data also shows that every third of individuals employed in Europe lack basic digital skills.
In order to tackle the general lack of skills in Europe, the Commission proposed to revitalise lifelong learning through the European Year of Skills, in collaboration with the European Parliament, Member States, social partners, public and private employment services, chambers of commerce and industry, education and training providers, as well as workers and businesses, all together. In this regard, the commission proposes concretely to:
- 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.
In order to achieve these goals, the Commission will promote opportunities for upskilling and reskilling, by highlighting pertinent EU initiatives and financing options to encourage their uptake, implementation, and delivery on the ground.
Executive Vice-President for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age, Margrethe Vestager, said about this initiative: “Digital skills are an essential if we are to do what we want with technology. Managing digital life – like paying bills, asking for parking permits etc. – takes knowledge for us as citizens. Creating solutions for the society with technology that helps us in our daily life’s takes expertise. We have decided on goals, now is the time to take action. The European Year of Skills will help us focus our efforts on enabling people to learn.”
© European Union 2022, EC Audiovisual service