Tuesday, 11 December 2012

eSkills Panorama Launch

At the conference “Anticipating skills needs at EU level” held on 7 December 2012 in Brussels, DG Education and Culture  and DG Employment,  unveiled the joint effort: eSkills Panorama (www.eskillspanorama.ec.europa.eu), a platform that provides European and national information about skills, competences and jobs. In her welcome address, Commissioner A. Vassiliou underlined the necessity to rethink education: skills needs are changing; to combat youth unemployment (up to 50% in some Member States)  re-skilling and up-skilling is necessary. Member States need to carry out reforms towards open learning and to deepen the understanding of the labour market. 

The eSkills Panorama is not an isolated initiative but part of the eSkill Strategy. Amongst the tools available are: 
  • ESCO – the European multilingual classification of skills and competences
  • EURES – the European Job Mobility Portal
  • PLOTEUS – the Portal on Learning Opportunities throughout the European Space)
  • EUROPASS – where you can create your “Five documents to make your skills and qualifications clearly and easily understood in Europe”

Friday, 7 December 2012

The European Commission’s Communication “Rethinking Education”

European education and training systems continue to fall short in providing the right skills for employability, and are not working adequately with business or employers to bring the learning experience closer to the reality of the working environment. These skills mismatches are a growing concern for European industry's competitiveness, says the most recent Communication of the European Commission, appealing to EU Member States to set actions. 

The Communication underlines the importance of tapping on the potential of ICT for education and teaching and highlights the need to develop transversal skills (such as problem solving, team work etc. often also referred to as soft skills) and entrepreneurial skills as they not only contribute to new business creation but also to the employability of young people. 

In this respect, the Communication emphasises at several instances the importance of languages. In a world of international exchanges, the ability to speak foreign languages is a factor for competitiveness. Languages are more and more important to increase levels of employability and mobility of young people.

Further education in STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – is needed if Europe wants to compete with countries like Brazil, China and India that spend more on high skilled STEM education than the USA, Japan and UK together.