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Council and Parliament pave the way for a European Year of Skills

Met dank overgenomen van Raad van de Europese Unie (Raad), Zweeds voorzitterschap Europese Unie 1e helft 2023, gepubliceerd op dinsdag 7 maart 2023.

Today, the Council presidency and European Parliament negotiators concluded an agreement on a European Year of Skills for the period 9 May 2023 until 8 May 2024.

The overall objective of the European Year is to promote a mindset of reskilling and upskilling. The aim is to boost the competitiveness of European companies and create quality jobs. To focus on reskilling and upskilling should also help to close skill gaps and shortages.

This European Year comes at the right moment. There is need for action to fill labour shortages and help people find quality jobs. The European Year of Skills is the perfect tool to encourage public and private, national and European initiatives that put skills centre-stage.

Mats Persson, Swedish minister for education

European Year of Skills: objectives and activities

Labour shortages in sectors considered key for the green transition doubled between 2015 and 2021. At the same time 4 out of 10 adults and every third person who works in Europe lack basic digital skills. Boosting people’s skills is therefore also a condition to respond to the double green and digital transitions.

Activities throughout the European Year include:

  • conferences, forum discussions and other events to promote debate on the role and contribution of skills policies
  • events to promote discussion and mutual learning on the actions and approaches that public, private and third-sector stakeholders can take
  • initiatives to promote the provision, financing and uptake of upskilling and reskilling opportunities
  • communication and awareness-raising campaigns on EU initiatives for upskilling and reskilling

Background and next steps

Commission president Ursula von der Leyen announced the European Year of Skills during her State of the Union address before the European Parliament on 14 September 2022. The formalisation of this announcement happens through a decision of the European Parliament and the Council. Today’s agreement between the Parliament and the Council presidency will be followed by the formal adoption of the decision in plenary and Council.

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