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Image by Pavan Trikutam


In order to be turned into comprehensive lifelong learning strategies at national/regional level, bridges should be built between education, employment and social policies, in a reinforced dialogue and cooperation with civil society. That is why several MEPs and civil society organisations met on 30 November to discuss the new Skills Agenda for Europe with Slovak Presidency of the EU Council and DG EMPL representatives. The event took place just a few days after the EU Council under Slovak Presidency adopted a resolution on a “New Skills Agenda for an inclusive and competitive Europe” in response to the related Commission’s communication from June. Civil society organisations welcomed the emphasis on the need for a balance between labour market related expected outcomes of education and training, and those related to social inclusion and the development of engaged and active citizens, development of the flexible mindsets and curiosity needed to adapt to future needs, adequate EU funding for actions under the New Skills Agenda and efficient coordination at EU level in the area of education. LLL Interest Group Chair Sirpa Pietikainen (EPP, FI) emphasised on the need to empower teachers and tackle the skills gap through the Upskilling Pathways initiative, in particular when it comes to refugees. Participants also stressed the importance of synergies between DG EAC and DG EMPL for an effective implementation in cooperation with civil society and trade unions, as well as the positive development that EQF and the Key Competence Framework for lifelong learning initiatives brought at European level.


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