Low literacy rates are increasing in the Netherlands, despite policies by the Dutch Government to tackle the problem. Around two and a half million Dutch people currently have literacy and numeracy difficulties, according to the Court of Audit’s 2016 report Aanpak van laaggeletterdheid (Approach to illiteracy).
On 16 November 2017, the Youth Board of Cyprus presented two programmes aiming to activate young people and to promote and develop entrepreneurship. Both are included in the National action plan for youth employment and are jointly funded by the European Social Fund.
Nearly 6% of all Dutch VET students study abroad as part of their programme. This was revealed in figures on student mobility in senior secondary vocational education and training, published by EP-Nuffic and the Cooperation Organisation for Vocational Education, Training and the Labour Market (SBB) in September 2016. The percentage of VET students going abroad is much higher than previously assumed.
Sense of initiative and entrepreneurship are among the eight key competences for lifelong learning which are listed in an EU recommendation from 2006. In Austria, self-employment is an attractive option for many, though it does not have the status that might be expected. To increase self-employment in Austria, the Ministry of Economy and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, with support from the Ministry of Education, launched the nationwide project Female entrepreneurs visit schools in September 2017. The project aims to show young people how exciting and interesting self-employment can be.
In response to being asked by the government to develop a national strategy for digital skills in education, the Swedish National Agency of Education has decided that all upper secondary learners should be able to learn general and applied programming.
A common framework of digital competence for teachers has been published by the Ministry of Education, available from January 2017. Developing digital competence in education requires integration of ICT in the classroom and teachers properly skilled in that competence.
The government supports Estonian as a second language and foreign language learning by learners in VET and higher education, to ensure better career opportunities and mobility.
The government aims to reduce the share of adults aged 25 to 64 without professional or vocational education from 28.5% in 2016 to less than 25% by 2020, and to increase their participation in lifelong learning. An obstacle for achieving this goal is low motivation and lack of key competences.
Many initiatives have been taken in recent years to improve levels of digitalisation in schools. The education ministry develops and maintains the infrastructure for new technologies in the education and research system with support of the Croatian Academic and Research Network (CARNet) and University Computing Center (Srce).
At the end of 2016 the project Promotion of entrepreneurship in secondary education was introduced by the Education Minister and the Secretary of State for Economy. It involves promoting the emergence of 'entrepreneurial schools' in the Grand Duchy, meaning secondary schools that encourage their students to develop multidisciplinary skills enabling them to succeed in future entrepreneurial challenges.