European citizens are interested in developments in the implementation of digital technology solutions, with a view to simplifying the necessary administrative procedures in relation to the authorities or in everyday life in society. A digitally literate population can benefit, through digital identity, from simplified access to the services provided by public authorities or the business environment.
Sustainable funding for lifelong learning and development of skills, in the context of a shortage of skilled labour (Exploratory opinion at the request of the Croatian presidency) - Related Opinions
The EESC underlines the role of adult learning to help adults improve and acquire citizenship skills and to be more active in society. It considers that lifelong learning should become a lifestyle for all and a reality at the workplace, and calls on the Commission and the Member States to achieve and raise the target of 60% of adult learning participation per year. It recommends Member States to strengthen the policy, governance and funding to adult learning and ensure equal access to lifelong learning for all adults. Better access to guidance and counselling is needed so that all adults are informed on lifelong learning possibilities. Companies, together with trade unions, should be involved as much as possible in establishing strategies for skills development for the digital and green transitions of industries.
The EESC stresses the crucial importance of having effective training systems and the ability to anticipate skills needs at a time of profound upheavals due to the COVID-19 crisis. The EESC considers the social partners to be effective players in designing and managing training systems. They are very well placed to measure the skills needs of the labour market and must systematically play a major role in the development of qualifications and their content.
The EESC recommends drawing up national strategic agreements on vocational training and guidance, on the basis of negotiations between the authorities and the social partners, involving vocational education and training stakeholders.
The EESC recommends, in order to achieve high-quality and inclusive education and training and lifelong learning for all, establishing achievable long-term goals and a constant monitoring system within the European Education Area (EEA) for each Member State. The teaching of key competences, including social sensitivity, empathy, intercultural dialogue and citizenship skills, should be applied across the whole education and training process. This opinion also points at the importance of taking a holistic approach to the implementation of recent EU initiatives on education, vocational education and training, skills, youth education and digital skills. The EESC calls on Member States to ensure effective support for those facing difficulties in accessing quality and inclusive adult education and training, via targeted funding for those in need, such as the unemployed, non-standard workers, the low-skilled and people with disabilities.