The year 2022 was designated by the European Union as the European Year of Youth. A decision that was taken to highlight the importance Young people hold as change-makers and as well as their pivotal role in building peaceful and democratic societies. Moreover, this was also to recognise that the COVID-19 pandemic was a tough period specifically for this generation and understanding their concerns was essential to moving forward from the health and economic crisis.
As 2022 was drawing to a close, the European Commission, through the State of the Union Speech of President von der Leyen, declared that 2023 will be the European Year of Skills. This is being done, in consideration; of the Digital Economy and Society Index shows that 4 out of 10 adults and every third person who works in Europe lack basic digital skills and that at east 60% of adults are engaged in lifelong learning by 2030, with the hope that the an employement rate of 78% is reached by that same year.
With the European Year of Skills, The Commission intends to give a fresh impetus to lifelong learning by:
- Promoting increased, and more effective and inclusive investment in training and upskilling to harness the full potential of the European workforce, and to support people in changing from one job to another.
Making sure that skills are relevant for labour market needs, by also cooperating with social partners and companies.
- Matching people’s aspirations and skill sets with opportunities on the job market, especially for the green and digital transition and the economic recovery. A special focus will be given to activate more people for the labour market, in particular women and young people, especially those not in education, employment or training.
- Attracting people from third countries with the skills needed by the EU, including by strengthening learning opportunities and mobility and facilitating the recognition of qualifications.
With life long learning forming a key part of Erasmus+ through the VET & Adult Education Sector, this gives EUPA a good opportunity to promote these sectors among its social partners throughout the year.