Commission's New Skills Agenda: access to quality education and training must be a social right for all say S&Ds

Commission's New Skills Agenda: access to quality education and training must be a social right for all say S&Ds, #EDUCA, #GoFor4, jobs, employment,training,Udo Bullmann MEP, S&D MEP Momchil Nekov, Emilian Pavel,

The European Parliament today backed an S&D-led report on a New Skills Agenda for Europe, which stresses the need to upgrade European education and training systems to help Europeans find jobs and improve their life chances in a rapidly changing economic and social context.
 
S&D Group vice-president responsible for economic and social policy Udo Bullmann MEP said:
 
“With an alarming 70 million Europeans lacking basic skills such as reading, writing and numeracy, and the rapidly growing demand for new skills, especially on digital technologies, we must invest more in education and training to guarantee a good future for all Europeans.
 
“The Socialists and Democrats welcome the Commission’s focus on the New Skills Agenda to help Europeans find quality jobs and obtain the new skills needed in a rapidly changing labour market, but we are even more ambitious. We want a holistic education system to foster creativity and innovation, enable people to think critically, take informed decisions and fully participate in society. A real skills guarantee for all must be a basic social right in Europe.”

European Parliament rapporteur on the New Skills Agenda, S&D MEP Momchil Nekov, said:

“The European Parliament’s resolution aims at broadening the focus of the Commission’s proposal, which is mainly oriented towards the immediate needs of the labour market. In today’s rapidly changing society and economy, young Europeans must not only be equipped with the skills to get a job, but also with the skills for life.
 
“The Socialists and Democrats are pushing for a progressive Skills Agenda, which guarantees access to quality education and training opportunities for all and reinforces the role of teachers and trainers. We want a Skills Agenda that improves the recognition of skills at a European and national level, including competences acquired through informal education, which are key for the empowerment of people with lower or less-recognised skill sets and with limited opportunities for access to formal education.
 
“I believe we must learn the lessons from the Youth Guarantee. With no EU money behind it, the Skills Agenda has little chance of making a real difference. This is why we call for a budget for the Skills Agenda."
 
Emilian Pavel, S&D MEP responsible for the new skills agenda in the employment committee, added:
 
“Apprenticeships and internships are very effective types of training as they combine theoretical knowledge with hands-on practice. Yet, too many young people get trapped in a vicious circle of unpaid internships or are denied basic workers’ rights during their apprenticeships. We must end the exploitation of interns and apprentices as cheap labour.
 
“We call on EU member states to end these shameful practices through national measures and we expect the Commission to present an ambitious Quality Framework for Apprenticeships as soon as possible. Interns and apprentices have a right to be paid and to a signed agreement with decent working conditions.” 

Note to the editor:

In June 2016, the European Commission published the New Skills Agenda for Europe, which is a package of measures to address the real skills problems in Europe. The Agenda aims at bringing improvements in three areas: 1. Basic competences, 2. Visibility and comparability of competences, 3. Labour market and skills intelligence. Two Council recommendations have been adopted in the meantime.