Officials from the European Union (EU) have recently revealed how they plan to improve employment prospects in 2010. Commissioner for employment Vladimir Spidla recently stressed the importance of improving the skills of all sections of society pointing to research which found one in three Europeans of working age do not hold any formal qualifications. It is also important that companies constantly re-evaluate their skills base, as firms that offer training are 2.5 times less likely to go bust.
Meanwhile, the employment rate for low-skilled people stands at 49 per cent, compared to 84 per cent for those with high capabilities and 70 per cent with abilities assessed to be 'medium'. Marcos Sefcovic, commissioner for education, training, culture and youth, also outlined the employment problems faced by the EU in the coming years, commenting: "We need to break down the divisions between education, training and work so that people can make sure that their skills are suited to evolving labour market needs throughout their lives."
The EU has outlined four key areas for action, including incentivisation of training for employers, anticipating the skills of the future and making education more accessible to all. The recommendations form part of the 'New Skills for New Jobs: Action Now' report, which was presented to officials in Brussels in February 2010.
PA welfare sector expert, Adam Skinner comments: "There is a clear case for governments to use their influence at national and regional level to help industries identify the skills they need and to link employment opportunities with the training provision on offer. PA is proud to have been an integral part of much of this work through Regional Development Agencies and Non-Departmental Government Bodies.
"Where this report does not go far enough is in failing to make the link between providing this training and actively encouraging welfare recipients and the unemployed to seek this training. In order to make the Employment and Skills service and that next step is essential in order to make it real and practical, even more so at a time of rising unemployment."
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