A New Skills Agenda for Europe. Supporting upskilling and reskilling to enable digitalisation and sustainability

Policy Brief
I-Com
skills agenda

The EU’s transition to a green and digital economy and the wide deployment of artificial intelligence and robotics require an unparalleled shift in skill sets due to new jobs being created and other jobs changing or even disappearing. Therefore, it is essential that European citizens improve their existing skills and training in new skills. Moreover, a skills revolution is fundamental to helping in the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. The current health crisis has clearly shown that digital skill are not just an asset for career progress, but also essential for work, study, access goods and services, keep in touch with others and the latest information, and have a say and support each other. Based on the above, after four years from the first Skills Agenda, the European Commission adopted the new Skills Agenda for Europe on 1 July 2020, which highlights the importance of skills to achieve sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience for all. This is a strategy aimed at strengthening and renewing skills for all European citizens, which are of key importance, especially in the current situation, determined by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Commission wishes to ensure the right to quality and inclusive education, training and lifelong learning, enshrined in the European Pillar of Social Rights, for everybody and everywhere in the EU, from cities to remote and rural areas. The new Skills Agenda covers the following five steps:

1. Calls for collective action, mobilising business, social partners and stakeholders, to commit to working together, overall within the EU’s industrial eco-systems;

2. Defines a clear strategy to ensure that skills lead to jobs;

3. Identifies the financial means to foster investment in skills;

4. Helps people in building their skills throughout life in an environment where lifelong learning is the norm;

5. Sets ambitious objectives for upskilling and reskilling to be achieved within the next 5 years.