More investment in training

IF – 01/2023

The European Commission has declared 2023 to be the Year of Skills. In October last year the European Commission announced that it will be introducing measures to counter the shortage of skilled workers throughout Europe.

Everyone pulls together

The European Union is facing a declining number of skilled workers in almost all industries. Many companies are experiencing delivery problems due to the lack of workers. Staff shortages in the health sector are especially evident when it comes to care and there are no replacements for many retirees in the administrative sector. More importance will now be given to lifelong learning as part of the European Year of Skills and this will be implemented in collaboration with the European Parliament, the member states, the social partners and various interest groups.

Promoting investment in training, improving the skills relevant to the labour market and considering the workers' wishes and skills as well as effective recruitment of third-country nationals with the skills needed in the EU will all be expanded.

Skills as the answer for stable social and labour market policies

Currently, around three quarters of companies in the EU are having difficulties in finding qualified workers. The European Commission is taking this alarming figure as its reason to focus more on training and acquiring skills and to invest in them. Member states want to achieve a social policy target of having at least 60 per cent of adults participating in advanced training by 2030. Access to public services, transport and public areas for vulnerable groups such as people with disabilities and older people, should be improved.

What is planned?

Promoting investment in training and advanced training should be strengthened in order to realise the full potential of Europe's workforce and to support workers if they change their jobs. The European Commission proposes investing in skills relevant to the labour market and this will be in collaboration with companies and social partners. Ecological and digital transitions should also be taken into consideration. A special focus here should be on getting more people, especially women and young people, well trained to become a valuable asset to the labour market.

The next steps

EU funds and technical assistance will be made available to help member states invest in training and retraining. EU funding will be supported by the "European Social Fund Plus" (ESF+) with a budget of 99 billion euros until 2027. 20 per cent of social spending is planned for "employment and skills” under the EU "Recovery and Resilience Facility". The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union will now discuss the proposal.