According to the data of the OECD, close to 70 million Europeans lack basic reading and writing skills. Even more cannot use numbers or digital tools effectively in daily live. Without these skills they are at high risk of unemployment, poverty and social exclusion, and, as a further concern of the European Union, it increases the risk of lower productivity and loss of competitiveness.
To tackle the issue, and in the framework of the New Skills Agenda, the European Commission proposed a “Skills Guarantee” which has now been renamed Upskilling Pathways, and which was adopted in December by the European Council. It aims to help adults acquire a minimum level of literacy, numeracy and digital skills and acquire a broader set of skills. The initiative requires the member states to tackle the issue and proposes steps to do it.
EAEA welcomes the Upskilling pathways initiative.
“It is now up to the member states to start implementing this ambitious strategy”, says Gina Ebner, Secretary-General of the EAEA. “We hope that they will choose a life skills approach, which looks at a more comprehensive approach to basic skills. EAEA and our members are keen to contribute to and support this strategy.”
EAEA is currently working closely with its members and encourages them to participate in the planning and implementation of the initiative in their countries and supports their advocacy work.
A consultation will be launched among the EAEA members to monitor the implementation on national and regional level. Based on the feedback, EAEA will prepare a statement and deliver the feedback to the European Commission.