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European Year of Skills should foster systemic reform of education and training systems

BusinessEurope welcomes the focus of the proposed European Year of skills 2023 on lifelong learning, and with the aim of boosting competitiveness, participation in training and talent in line with changing labour market needs. Companies are facing significant labour and skills shortages, combined with the need to support up and re-skilling measures in view of the digital and green transitions. Access to an appropriately skilled workforce remains a key factor of a company’s competitiveness and needs to be strengthened. Increasing participation in STEM-related programmes is particularly important. This includes arousing pupils’ and students’ interest for STEM subjects early on, and increasing female participation in tertiary-level STEM subjects and their following job/career choice. The European year needs to be synchronised with broader efforts to underpin progress in the European semester context with investments, necessary reforms and effective social dialogue aiming to foster skills development. A specific priority for BusinessEurope is to have a more coordinated reform approach to the updating of education and training curricula and qualifications in view of new and emerging skills needs. These were the key messages given by Director General Markus J. Beyrer during a meeting with European Commission Executive Vice-President Vestager, Vice-President Schinas and Commissioner Schmit.

Last updated: 23 November 2022