Sustainable and competitive economies must provide quality jobs and equal opportunities

Krajn, Slovenia, 9 July 2021

At today's informal meeting of the EU ministers for employment and social policy, I underlined that work on resilient and inclusive labour markets for all is among the core priorities of the EESC's work.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made us realise that we need more than just money to solve the current situation. The transition to an economy that is greener and more digital needs to be linked to a social recovery. Economic prosperity, care for the environment and people's wellbeing can and must go hand in hand.

I also welcomed the Slovenian Presidency's commitment to the Action Plan to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights. The EESC's opinion on that topic underlines that the Action Plan should promote sustainable and competitive economies that provide quality jobs and equal opportunities for all.

To achieve this goal, it is essential to match education and training with the needs of the labour market. Nowadays, up-skilling and re-skilling of workers, along with digital education, are vitally important.

Special attention should be paid to young people, who are having more and more difficulty transitioning from education to the labour market. In the Member States we need active labour market policies including on-the-job training to guarantee quality work opportunities for younger generations.

The EESC will continue to support other institutions in shaping new, inclusive policies for labour markets. The Committee upholds the voice of social partners and organised civil society; listening to these primary actors is indispensable if we are to achieve policies that are truly fit for purpose.