The proposed priority areas and actions related to training are as follows:
1. Maintain employment, create jobs and promote mobility:
- improve the impact of training within short-time working arrangements;
- anticipate and manage restructuring better, e.g. through sectoral partnerships and agreements with social partners to support redundant workers through training, coaching and job search;
- provide business training to unemployed and young people to boost job creation;
- facilitate job mobility through Commission awareness raising and new match and map on-line service to inform on occupations and learning/training opportunities;
2. Upgrade skills and meet labour market needs. A new phase of the New skills for new jobs agenda with:
- special focus on skills upgrading and lifelong learning. This includes sector-by-sector skill needs analyses, including green skills; EU level sector skills councils and a guide for training in SMEs by the Commission;
- better use of the ESF by Member States to strengthen their capacity of skills forecasting and matching in sectors most affected by the crisis and to improve access to and quality of education and trainin;
- increased effectiveness of lifelong learning through more flexible learning paths and targets in relation to the LLL and higher education attainment benchmarks;
- increase efforts to cooperate with social partners to implement and further develop national qualification frameworks.
Specific focus on young people through cooperation between Member States and social partners (Commission and ESF support) to:
- ensure high quality apprenticeship for min 5 mio young Europeans by end 2010 and traineeship placements for learners in higher education
- increase upper secondary level attainment and reduce early school-leaving, e.g. through flexible and alternative [sic]paths in schools and VET establishments
- reduce the period between becoming unemployed and training opportunities .
3. Increase access to employment. Reinforce activation and facilitating access to employment:
- strengthen the new start target for jobless adults to ensure they receive a job, training/apprenticeship or other employability measure max 3 months after being registered as unemployed
- stimulate demand and jobs for low skilled labour [!]
The Commission foresees a substantial financial aid, mainly, better access to EU funding to help people stay in employment or find a new job, in particular from the European Social Fund (some 19bn for 2009-10) and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund. This includes support for
- in-company training schemes for workers and companies undergoing restructuring and measures to support the most vulnerable groups (older workers)
- promoting entrepreneurship
- high quality education and training schemes, new curricula on entrepreneurship and low carbon economy, instruments to monitor and anticipate labour market needs
- public employment services, e.g. to upgrade the skills of their staff and promote cooperation with stakeholders -Proposal for a EU microfinance facility for employment providing approximately 500m in loans for micro-credits to support those facing problems to obtain funds to set up a business, and to develop micro-enterprises and the social economy.
The Commission intends to report on progress and its implications for the post-Lisbon 2010. The European Council on 18-19 June 2009 will discuss the proposal and agree measures to be taken at EU and at national level.
Eurofound, the European Foundation for the improvement of living and working conditions, and Cedefop, will be mobilized to provide information and expertise on managing change and skills forecasting.
Reference: A Shared Commitment for Employment: Communication from the Commission, to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.
COM (2009) 257, 3.6.2009