Europeans need to improve their skills to avoid jobs disappearing from the region.
So says the European Commission as it launched an effort to boost employability, competitiveness and growth .
Its ‘Skills Agenda for Europe’ programme will push EU governments to improve literacy, numeracy and particularly digital skills as many IT companies says they have vacancies but cannot find qualified workers.
It is a big job given that there are an estimated 70 million Europeans who can’t read and write adequately and even more with poor numeracy and digitals skills.
Marianne Thyssen, the Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility Commissioner, todl Euronews: “We have a recommendation on the skills guarantee, and there we ask member states to make an effort to stand by people, that really have very low basic skills.”
An aging populations means fewer Europeans of working age leading to the need for a more skilled workforce.
Thyssen says there should also be a greater appreciation of blue collar workers: “I think there is not enough respect for technical jobs at this moment in our society. It’s often seen as a second choice, not as the first option. We have to show people, that this gives really a prospect of having a job, a quality job, a well paid job.”
Brussels has set aside 26 billion euros for education and training until the end of this decade so that governments, businesses and educators can work together.