The role of business in relation to education in the EU

EESC opinion: The role of business in relation to education in the EU

Key points

  • The Committee welcomes the active approach of employers and businesses to a Europe-wide move supporting the development of skills and their adaptation to the needs of the labour market in order to rekindle growth, create jobs and, in particular, improve the situation of young people on the labour market.
  • Education and training are costly activities involving multiple beneficiaries. There are many models that can implement cost-sharing systems across Europe. Employers should be involved in them according to national practices and conditions.
  • The Committee calls on employers and businesses to support the principle of partnership and cooperation between all stakeholders involved in the reform of education systems, vocational training systems and in the development of lifelong learning strategies. In this context, the Committee recognises the role of social dialogue and the results to date of cooperation among social partners at all levels.
  • In the interest of maintaining and strengthening the position of industry in Europe, the Committee urges employers and businesses to help improve the image of industry, technical subjects and STEM skills  and to analyse, anticipate and communicate the needs of individual sectors, thereby helping match skills more closely to labour market needs.
  • Employers and business organisations should at the same time respect the specific needs of micro‑enterprises and small businesses – given their huge potential to create jobs – in order to help them to develop an overview of how these more flexible, dynamic businesses operate.
  • The Committee recommends that businesses, together with other labour market players, work closely with schools and educational institutes and get actively involved in preparing curricula and syllabuses for vocational training in line with their expected results.