Report

Europe – Boosting skills requires a comprehensive, well-informed and coordinated strategy involving multiple actors

Skills are key for Europe’s growth, inclusiveness and future prosperity. It is people’s skills that underpin an economy’s capacity to innovate and adopt innovation successfully. Skills can thus act as a catalyst for growth and economic job creation. Skills are also central to employability and facilitate finding jobs that allow people to realize their potential, contributing to individual well-being and societal cohesion.

Strategies to strengthen human capital development in Europe offer an opportunity to boost Europe’s longer-term growth potential and tackle inequalities. The EU is an open and increasingly knowledge-based economy but has been struggling with low productivity growth and a slow recovery of investment. At the same time, Europe is facing the challenge of adapting to demographic trends and rapid technological change. A coherent and forward looking strategy for human capital and skills can help Europe to tackle most of those challenges at once: enhance the innovation capacity of its economy, react to (and potentially lead) the global technological race, leverage on the right pool of skills, avoid lost generations and social losses, while enhancing equality of opportunities, as well as synergies and spill-overs between capital accumulation, productivity and potential growth.

Indications of skill gaps and mismatches in Europe are considerable though. For example, the OECD’s assessment of adult skills indicates that about a fifth of Europeans adults struggle with basic literacy and numeracy skills. Many Europeans work in jobs that do not match their talents. At the same time, employer frequently report that firms face difficulties to find people with the right skills. Recent results from the EIB Investment survey suggest that the limited availability of people with the right skills is increasingly viewed as an obstacle: More than seven in ten European firms see it as an impediment to investment. This concern is broadly shared across the EU, among firms of different size and operating in different sectors. Notably, limited availability of skills is seen as a problem by firms in Central Eastern and South-eastern Europe where economies try to catch up with the technology frontier, but is also felt increasingly as a problem in countries close to potential and recovering from the crisis.

With free mobility of workers within Europe, challenges in terms of skills cannot be considered only a local-national challenge. Labour markets as well as education and training systems in member states each face specific challenges. Yet some issues are common across Europe: This includes strengthening the quality and relevance of education and training and ensuring access to it. What role can the EU play given that ideas and people are often mobile but investment in education and skills typically local? What are ways to best support smart investment in human capital in Europe?

On September 25th 2017 the EIB hosted a workshop to debate skill(s) challenge(s) in Europe, their underlying drivers as well as ways to address them, including the role of (EU) policies and financing. One conclusion was that in order to promote skill development in Europe going forward, a better understanding of current gaps and mismatches is needed, together with a thorough assessment of what works and what not when it comes to policy measures. To this end, this compilation brings together several contributions, including micro- and macro perspectives as well as specific country examples, to inform the current European debate. The analyses show that successfully boosting skills requires a comprehensive, well- informed and coordinated strategy involving multiple actors but that mastering skills challenges stand to add substantial benefits in terms of growth and inclusiveness for Europe.



Content

1. Skills to seize the benefits of global value chains ………………………………………………………………… 8
1.1 Global value chains present both opportunities and challenges for countries …………………. 9
1.2 Investing in skills helps countries to seize the benefits of global value chains ………………… 10
1.3 Cognitive skills, social and emotional skills, and readiness to learn are crucial for performance in global value chains…………………………………………………………………………… 11
1.4 Countries need to improve the quality of their education and training systems …………….. 12
1.5 Countries need to work on various fronts to encourage adult education and training ……. 13
1.6 Countries can co-operate better on the design and funding of education and training programmes…………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 14
1.7 … and improve recognition of skills acquired informally or abroad……………………………….. 15
1.8 A whole-of-government approach is needed……………………………………………………………… 15
2. Promoting investment in education and skills with a view at enhancing efficiency of public spending and productivity in the EU………………………………………………………………………………… 17
2.1 Efficiency of public spending on education………………………………………………………………… 18
2.2 Human capital and productivity ……………………………………………………………………………….. 20
3. Understanding skill gaps in Europe: First Insights from the EIB Investment Survey ……………….. 22
3.1 European firms find limited availability of skills to be key investment impediment………… 22
3.2 Who are the firms missing skills?……………………………………………………………………………… 25
3.3 Firms see education and training as priority for public investment ………………………………. 27
3.4 Survey results and implications for research and (EU) policy……………………………………….. 29
4. Automation, skills demand and adult learning ………………………………………………………………….. 31
5. Investing in Europe’s future education and skills: Public opinions on Vocational Education and Training………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 37
6. What is there to learn from the German dual apprenticeship system? ………………………………… 42
7. Incentivizing training participation of employees: Evidence on training vouchers …………………. 46
7.1 On the importance of adult education ……………………………………………………………………… 46
7.2 Evidence on the effectiveness of training vouchers ……………………………………………………. 47
7.3 General remarks and suggestions…………………………………………………………………………….. 49

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Investing in Europe’s future – Publications Office of the EU

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Jobs – Offres d’emploi – US & Canada (Eng. & Fr.)

The Most Popular Job Search Tools

Even More Objectives Statements to customize

Cover Letters – Tools, Tips and Free Cover Letter Templates for Microsoft Office

Follow Job Market Monitor on WordPress.com

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow Job Market Monitor via Twitter

Categories

Archives

%d bloggers like this: