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When Marty McFly returned back to the future…the clock rolled uncontrollably and eventually came to a halt – the date shown was 21 October 2015. Never could he have expected the ill fate awaiting his graduate son.

Cedefop research shows that 29% of the EU adult population suffers from qualification mismatches, mostly as overqualification. Cedefop expert @K_Pouliakas notes that 'about a quarter of tertiary education graduates work in jobs below their qualification level; this is a waste of public resources and a taint on the value of further education.'


Cedefop research shows that genuine skill shortages are only present in specific sectors and occupations and affect dynamic enterprises, while many firms face recruitment difficulties due to job offers of poor quality.


Data on early school leaving and rates of young people not in employment education or training illustrate the difficulties young people face in today’s world, as well as the economic and social consequences of their being cut off from the labour market and education. They also underline the importance of keeping young people in education and training.


Adults with upper-secondary VET qualifications generally have lower levels of literacy and numeracy proficiency than people with general upper-secondary education, according to the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC). This is not surprising.


Demand is increasing for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills. Graduates from upper-secondary vocational education and training are important providers of STEM skills, but numbers are falling in some countries.


Literacy levels vary across countries and between vocational education and training (VET) and general education graduates at upper-secondary levels, according to first findings from the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) published in October. The findings also show that, unsurprisingly, the young are more literate, but that proficiency in literacy peaks at around 30 years of age.


On 1 July 2013 Croatia became the European Union’s 28th Member State. To mark the occasion Cedefop has prepared a statistical overview on vocational education and training (VET) and lifelong learning in Croatia. Selected for their policy relevance and importance to achieving the Europe 2020 strategy’s objectives, the indicators quantify key aspects of VET and lifelong learning and relate Croatia’s performance to the EU average.


Almost half of Member States have reached the Europe 2020 target of 40% of people aged 30-34 holding a higher education degree or equivalent qualification, according to the latest data. Since the target was announced in 2010, progress has been steady, rising by around one percentage point a year. If current trends continue, the European Union should meet its target by the end of the decade.


The unemployment rate in the EU has peaked at 10.5% (higher than in 2008 by 3.4 percentage points). But between 2010 and 2012 it grew less, with some countries reporting stable or even declining trends.


Despite major differences across countries, on average 31% of young VET graduates continue in further education and training in the EU


In 2011, around 55% of early leavers from education and training were jobless (up by nine percentage points compared to 2008).


In the EU, 79% of vocational education graduates were working in 2009.


One in two 16-74 year-olds in the EU now has a medium or high level of computer skills.


In the EU, 8.5% of all 30-34 year-olds have a practically-oriented tertiary qualification, equivalent to a quarter of those with tertiary education attainment in that age group.


In the EU more than one in four young people from a migrant background leaves education and training too early.


At 14.8 %, the crisis-induced EU unemployment rate for low-educated adults is five percentage points higher than in 2008 and well above average.


Among 25-64 year-olds, those with low qualifications are less likely to participate in adult learning. In the EU, their participation rates have stagnated at 3.8 %


In 2008, at least 20% of innovative enterprises in many EU countries had procedures in place to identify and reduce their environmental impact.


6.8 million young people in the EU are either unemployed or underemployed.


Currently, 38.5% of total EU employment is in knowledge-intensive services, and this percentage is on the increase.


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