MEPs have unanimously adopted a report highlighting the importance of modern vocational education and training (VET).
This, it was said, will meet the challenges of the labour market in terms of changing forms and activities of employment and the skills they require.
The own-initiative report by ECR rapporteur Anna Zalewska was backed by the EU parliament’s Employment Committee on 28 June.
After the vote, Zalewska said: “The COVID-19 pandemic and also the war in Ukraine have shown that the European Union needs to be strengthened in this area.
“Moreover, it is undeniable that the digital transformation is accelerating and the use of artificial intelligence and big data is increasing. It is therefore important to complement and develop skills, including digital skills, to meet the needs of the changing labour market and to avoid unemployment due to technological progress.”
She added, “With this report, we hope to encourage the EU to respond adequately to demographic change. To do this, we want to explore the measures needed at Member State and company level. These could be mentoring, reducing the administrative burden on training companies, or training that effectively incorporates digitalisation and artificial intelligence.”
“Many companies are already struggling to find employees with the right skills, and skills shortages are growing. Demographic change means more attention also needs to be paid to older workers who need support to train and acquire new skills.”
“Employment patterns, the nature of work and the skills required are changing rapidly. We therefore underline the importance of individualised, personalised learning pathways and the acquisition of very specific competences needed in the labour market today and in the future,” she noted.
The MEP went on, “I am pleased that it has been possible to reach a broad consensus on this important issue for EU citizens. The work on the report took place in a good and constructive atmosphere, with all political groups expressing their support for the holistic objective of promoting VET.”