Lifelong learning requires more substantial public funding

To adjust to the new world of work, people will need many skill sets acquired in different learning environments.

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) said that EU Member States should increase public investment in lifelong learning, with a special focus on the education of adults, and should earmark targeted funding for the continuous upskilling and reskilling of the most vulnerable groups in society to indiscriminately equip people with new skills tailored to jobs of the future.

To avoid an acute shortage of skilled labour, Europe will also have to look beyond formal education and allocate more funds for learning in non-formal and informal settings (for example, in youth organisations or via the media, respectively), in which learners can develop softer skills, such as critical thinking and teamwork, or character traits, such as leadership and curiosity.

It is increasingly recognised that as well as basic literacy and digital skills, people will need these soft skills to adapt to the impact of global digital and technological advances, which are currently transforming the world of work and the skills profiles of many occupations so quickly that it is often difficult to predict what skills will be needed in the future. Continue reading “Lifelong learning requires more substantial public funding”

EU launches new €50 million pilot to develop skills and education across Europe

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and European Commission are launching a new pilot guarantee facility to improve access to finance for individuals and organisations looking to invest in skills and education. The EUR 50 million pilot scheme will support financing for students and learners, enterprises investing in the upskilling of their employees, and organisations supplying education and training.

The Skills & Education Guarantee Pilot (S&E Pilot) is a new debt financing initiative dedicated to stimulating investments in education, training and skills – as part of the solution to get more people into jobs and to respond to the European economy’s changing needs. This initiative is particularly relevant in the difficult economic situation European citizens and enterprises are facing currently due to the coronavirus pandemic. It will support companies and students during, and after, the crisis, to ensure that Europe can develop and stay at the helm of global technological developments, drive its knowledge economy forward and accelerate its economic recovery.

European Commission Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas,said: “With the potential to mobilise €200 million in investments in developing education and skills, the Skills and Education Guarantee Pilot is a stepping stone to more resilient and inclusive societies and economies while the EU recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. It can provide the necessary support to the development of learning opportunities and skills for some of the most critical sectors, such as health, education, security, the digital and the green economy. Opening the financing to learners, businesses and educational organisations will allow as many people and businesses as possible to reap the benefits.” Continue reading “EU launches new €50 million pilot to develop skills and education across Europe”