In 2016 the European Council adopted the Recommendation on Upskilling Pathways with the objective to assist adults in acquiring literacy, numeracy, digital and/or a broader set of skills to reduce one’s risk of unemployment, poverty and social exclusion. This initiative compliments the European Pillar of Social Rights which promotes equal rights to quality and inclusive education, training and life-long learning, as well as the aim to support fair and well-functioning labour markets and welfare systems. Recognizing the importance of the initiative, the Council renewed its commitment to the Upskilling Pathways in June 2019.

Currently, the European Commission has invited feedback on the implementation of the Upskilling Pathways in the form of a public consultation which is open until 17th March 2022.  This presents an opportunity for our members to directly advocate on the topic of upskilling, provide insight on progress and draw implications for the future.

The profound insight that our members can provide to the Upskilling Pathways Consultation was reflected in Eurodiaconia’s policy paper “Access to quality employment for people in vulnerable situations: Overcoming barriers and discrimination through a rights-based and person-centred approach”. Thanks to input from our members, we were able to identify key recommendations to promote access to employment for all people as a pathway to social inclusion and full participation in society. In relation to training and vocational services, these recommendations included the need to improve the inclusion of migrants and Roma, particularly women, as well as offering positive flexibility as opposed to rigid up- and reskilling programs to best address individual needs and “learning speeds”. As these recommendations were contingent on the essential expertise and input from our members, Eurodiaconia welcomes their participation in the Upskilling Pathways consultation.

To learn more about our findings and recommendations please check out our new policy paper on “Access to quality employment for people in vulnerable situations” here and access the executive summary here.

If this is of your interest, please  reach out directly to or by 25 February. Alternatively, you can fill out the entire consultation directly if you are registered in the EU transparency register and prefer to have an individual response.