Education, training and skills - Facts and figures
Despite ongoing EU and member state efforts to increase the supply of apprenticeships, the numbers are actually falling in certain countries, including some with well-established dual-systems. It is BusinessEurope's view that employers will get more involved in apprenticeship schemes when they are effective in meeting their skills needs. Therefore, putting in place the systems and structures that allow for the cost-effective engagement of employers and give them greater ownership over apprenticeship schemes is the main policy priority.
At the EU level there has been a slight fall in the percentage of adults (25-64) participating in life-long learning from 9.3% in 2007 to 9% in 2012. This is well below the EU 2020 target of 15%. However, despite the economic downturn, between 2005 and 2010, enterprises direct expenditure on training remained stable at 0.7% of total labour costs. Over the same period, working time spent on training increased from 9 to 10 hours per employed person, while 'training incidence', the proportion of enterprises providing training, also grew from 60% to 66%. (Source: continuous vocational training survey, CEDEFOP)
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills
The EU27 average for both female and male STEM graduates as a percentage of total female/male graduates in all subject fields has declined between 2002 and 2011. The gap between females (12.4% in 2011) and males (37.4% in 2011) has also remained significant. BusinessEurope considers that the Commission should develop a policy framework that promotes STEM subjects and encourage member states to learn from each other on how to increase the number and improve the quality of STEM graduates in conjunction with companies skills needs.