In December 2021 the European Commission published the following proposals: 

The objective of these proposals is to support the implementation of  the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan’s first principle which ensures a right to quality and inclusive education, training and lifelong learning. Accompanying this principle is the set target that 60 percent of all adults will participate in training every year by 2030.  

Responding to these proposals, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) recently adopted an opinion labeled the Learning and Employability PackageEESC stressed the rapid impact COVID-19, the green and digital transitions and demographic changes have had on Europe’s economy and labor force. In order to resolve labor shortages across sectors and ensure high quality jobs, EESC calls for effective education, training, upskilling and reskilling programs to be considered essential for all adults including the long-term unemployed, people with disabilities and NEETS.  

In order to establish accessible and inclusive training opportunities for all adults, EESC’s opinion outlines an extensive list of recommendations for the European Commission and Member States. First, EESC calls on the European Commission and Member States to strengthen adult learning policies so as to exceed the initial 60 percent target. Secondly, EESC recommends Member States to differentiate between rights and entitlements to ensure that adults, especially the most vulnerable, have the right to access effective, quality training, paid educational leave, full qualification, validation of informal and nonformal learning, guidance and counseling. Finally, the EESC calls on the Commission to support the exchange of good practices and mutual learning between Member States, with the involvement of social partners, to ensure effective access to training and to improve Member State’s adult learning systems and skill strategies.  

To read the European Economic and Social Committee’s Opinion and full list of recommendations, click here.