At the invitation of the Romanian EU Presidency, Cedefop presented its activities in the area of upskilling pathways for adults for the first time at a Council of the European Union Education Committee meeting, on 8 April, in Brussels.

The meeting was chaired by the Presidency and attended by representatives of the Member States and the European Commission.

Cedefop expert Patrycja Lipinska presented, on behalf of the Acting Executive Director Mara Brugia, the forthcoming results of the agency’s analysis aimed at estimating the magnitude of the low-skilled adult population in the EU28+ (EU28 plus Iceland and Norway) and identifying the different groups of adults most at risk of being low-skilled.

The analysis (using LFS, PIAAC, and CSIS data sources) estimated a potential of 128 million low-skilled adults across the EU28+, representing 46% of the adult population of this area. The estimate includes people with low educational attainment, with low cognitive skills (numeracy, literacy), low digital skills and those who have medium to high educational attainment but work in elementary occupations. The analysis results show that the risk of low skilling is particularly high among unemployed and inactive people in the age groups 35-54 and 55-64.

Cedefop also presented its analytical framework elaborated to support countries and stakeholders to develop strategic, coherent and coordinated approaches to upskilling pathways for adults. The framework has been developed by bringing together various resources and knowledge in the areas of adult learning, validation, guidance, work-based learning, financing and early leaving. It is intended as a source of inspiration and a tool for stakeholders to reflect on the current situation in their countries in relation to developing the upskilling pathways opportunities and potentially to identify key areas for action.

The participants were also informed about the forthcoming second policy learning forum on upskilling pathways that Cedefop is organising with the European Economic and Social Committee on 20 and 21 May in Brussels.

In her concluding remarks, Ms Lipinska said that Cedefop will continue to provide new qualitative and quantitative evidence to contribute to shaping policy developments and will continue to support policy implementation via policy analysis and knowledge sharing of inspiring practices and experiences among and within countries.

The presented work forms part of Cedefop’s project on adult learning.