European Year of Skills 2023

EESC opinion: European Year of Skills 2023

Key points


  • welcomes the declaration of 2023 as the European Year of Skills (EYS); expresses concern however that the agenda and priorities of the year appear overcrowded, risking that the year will be more about high-profile political announcements, than long-term systematic development; reiterates its recommendation that European Years should go beyond mere promotional activities and contribute towards clear plans and real engagement;
  • considers that all activities in the framework of the EYS 2023 must be aimed at the best possible progress in all fields of education and training; calls for the enforcement and implementation of the Council recommendation on Upskilling pathways as an important objective of the EYS;
  • suggests that all stakeholders in the field of education and training should have a voice in the selection of the national coordination point for the EYS;
  • calls on and encourages the social partners to take effective steps to engage in social dialogue to ensure that all workers have equal access to quality and inclusive training in line with the EPSR; emphasises the need for strong commitments from companies as well as from public authorities in particular to safeguard sufficient resources, including sufficient financing for education and training;
  • proposes the implementation of a skills guarantee to offer the right to access quality and inclusive training for all;
  • believes that social skills and transversal skills should also be included among the ''right skills'' needed for citizens, including workers and future ones; sustainable investment in adult participation in LLL and employee training should be highlighted as priorities within the European Semester process;
  • believes that consultation mechanisms between education institutions, authorities, companies and trade unions should be strengthened to contribute towards realistic and effective education-to-work strategies;
  • encourages the Commission to draw up actions ensuring that refugees and asylum-seekers can validate their skills and competences and be offered apprenticeships and up- and reskilling opportunities to be integrated in the labour market.