This report, sponsored by Microsoft and Shell , calls for a 'European Skills Pact' between Europe's educators, employers, investors, policymakers and citizens and sets out six priority actions which should be taken immediately:
- Launch a Europe-wide private-public alliance to ensure the re-skilling of excess labour in times of crisis;
- Re-focus the European Structural Funds earmarked for training and re-training in 2007-2013 towards the sectors most likely to contribute to Europe's competitiveness in post-crisis times;
- Identify and scale-up successful public-private initiatives and partnerships (such as JetNet ) aimed at stimulating young people's interest in mathematics, science and careers in engineering, information and communications technologies and environmental protection;
- Enhance and develop high-level business-university partnerships to generate the 'Global Knowledge Economy' skills which Europe needs to realise the benefits of its Lisbon strategy and be a leader in innovation;
- Encourage skills mobility within Europe, as well as between Europe and other parts of the world, and;
- Foster innovative approaches to education, including through e-learning and distance learning, competition and innovation.
The report was presented to European Commission Vice-President Gnter Verheugen, who said skills would be at the centre of the Commissions plan for a successor to the Lisbon Agenda .