The impact of education on wages and labour productivity

EESC opinion: The impact of education on wages and labour productivity

Key points


  • calls for an action plan to properly implement the European Skills Agenda and its twelve proposed actions;
  • believes that tackling the skills-related challenges will require significant political efforts and systemic reforms in education and training and smart investments in human capital from both public and private sources; social partners, education providers and CSOs should work more together to design skills strategies that best respond to the needs of the labour market and society in general;
  • points at the importance of improving EU and Member State initiatives regarding employee training in the workplace and creating the right incentives for employers to continue investing in the training of their workforce, with the involvement of social partners;
  • points at the opportunities afforded by individual learning accounts (ILAs) to engage in training, and at the importance of providing information on such accounts and how they can be accessed; ILAs and similar financial systems need to support access to recognised and validated training courses and allow workers to participate in processes to have their skills and work experience validated;
  • reiterates that the role and profile of Vocational Education and Training (VET) should continue to be strengthened for the further development of dual systems which train people also in basic, transversal and STEM skills;
  • underlines the importance of social partners in promoting the involvement of adults in education and training; points however at the lack of structured social dialogue especially in non-formal education, and at the fact that in some countries educators are mostly self-employed, some with inappropriate working conditions and without the possibility to unionise;
  • highlights the role of CSOs in delivering and promoting non-formal education, particularly among youth organisations but also in reaching those who are hard to reach;
  • believes that lifelong learning community centres could be a beneficial instrument, and should be promoted and funded across Europe using available EU and national financial instruments;
  • believes that small and medium-sized companies should be given consideration, as they have fewer opportunities to educate their employees; opportunities available with the support of EU structural funds must be better mainstreamed across Europe, better communicated to SMEs and better exploited;
  • believes that further research is needed on how to achieve even greater growth of industries based on investments in skills and knowledge.