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02 Jul 2020

EC presents European Skills Agenda

On 1 July 2020, the European Commission (EC) presented the European Skills Agenda for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience. It sets ambitious, quantitative objectives for upskilling (improving existing skills) and reskilling (training in new skills) to be achieved within the next 5 years. Its 12 actions 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 Commission stresses that green and digital transitions as accompanied by demographic trends are transforming how we live, work and interact. The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated these transitions and brought new career challenges for many people in Europe. In the aftermath of the crisis, many Europeans will need to retrain in a new skill or improve their existing skills to adapt to the changed labour market. The Skills Agenda aims to improve the relevance of skills in the EU to strengthen sustainable competitiveness, ensure social fairness and build Europe's resilience. The Skills Agenda includes the following 12 “actions”.

  1. A Pact for Skills
  2. Strengthening skills intelligence
  3. EU support for strategic national upskilling action
  4. Proposal for a Council Recommendation on Vocational Education and Training for sustainable competiveness, social fairness and resilience
  5. Rolling out the European universities initiative and upskilling scientists
  6. Skills to support the green and digital transitions
  7. Increasing STEM graduates and fostering entrepreneurial and transversal skills
  8. Skills for Life
  9. Initiative on Individual Learning Accounts
  10. A European approach to micro-credentials
  11. New Europass Platform
  12. Improving the enabling framework to unlock Member States' and private investments in skills

The EC has also set a number of objectives based on indicators for implementing the Skills Agenda and will develop an indicator on green skills, as this does not exist so far. To implement the actions and meet the objectives of the Skills Agenda, the EC sees an estimated need for additonal public and private investments in skills of around €48 billion annually. The EC also points out that EU funds can act as a catalyst for investing in people's skills, e.g. the European Social Fund, Plus, Erasmus, InvestEU's Social Investment and Skills window, the new Digital Europe Programme, or the Recovery and Resilience Facility.

For more information:

EC - press release

Questions and Answers on a European Skills Agenda for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience

Factsheet: European Skills Agenda

Communication: “European Skills Agenda for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience”