The new European skills agenda for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience, presented by the European Commission on 1 July, sets ambitious, quantitative objectives for upskilling (improving existing skills) and reskilling (training in new skills) in the next five 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 aim is to ensure that the right to training and lifelong learning, enshrined in the European Pillar of Social Rights, becomes a reality across Europe, from cities to remote and rural areas, to the benefit of everyone. The Commission is placing skills at the heart of the EU policy agenda, steering investment in people and their skills for a sustainable recovery after the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses need workers with the skills required to master the green and digital transitions, and people need to be able to get the right education and training to thrive in life.

The skills agenda aims to improve the relevance of skills in the EU to strengthen sustainable competitiveness, ensure social fairness and build our resilience. It does this through 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 competitiveness, 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 new Europass platform was the first action to be launched. It offers guidance in CV-writing, suggests tailored jobs and learning opportunities, provides information on trends in skills, and is available in 29 languages.

On 1 July, the Commission also adopted its proposal for a Council recommendation on vocational education and training.