Members of civil society representative bodies from countries of the Euro-Mediterranean region met in Turin on 17-18 December for the annual Euromed Summit of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions. They discussed education and training in the region.
Although the challenges faced by each of the countries are different, as access to education and training varies greatly in the region, the general consensus was that investing in human capital is essential for the sustainable development of the countries concerned, but also for ensuring regional stability and security.
Recent data show that the labour market in the Euromed region is performing poorly in general, with limited job creation, low employment rates, extremely low youth and female participation in the labour market (the latter at less than 25% on average) and an increase in the number of persons not in education, employment or training (NEETS) and at risk of exclusion. The education and training sector is therefore called upon to play a central role in equipping people with the right skills.
The participants discussed the challenges posed by education in the region and contributed to collective input that will feed into an in-depth report to be sent to the governments of the countries represented. During the debate, proposals were made to enhance educational and vocational training (VET) and lifelong learning in all Euromed countries as part of a project aimed at building stronger democracies, sounder economies and more equal societies. (dgf)