31.10.2013 IN FOCUS

Education and Training Monitor 2013 highlights impact of budget cuts and skills mismatch

European Commission has launched the annual Education and Training Monitor, which examines the evolution of Europe´s education and training systems. Sixteen Member States decreased their spending on education between 2008 and 2011, with six showing further significant budget decreases in 2012.

Education and Training Monitor sets out progress on the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020) benchmarks and core indicators, including the Europe 2020 headline target on education and training.

The 2013 Education and Training Monitor provides a picture of each country's progress in relation to specific benchmarks and indicators, and highlights the latest policy developments and analysis. Accompanied by 28 individual country reports and an online visualisation tool, it provides a wealth of data to facilitate evidence-based policy making across Europe.

One key finding of the Monitor is that inequality is still a feature of many education and training systems in Europe. This is reflected by strong weaknesses in the skills and qualifications of groups such as young people with a migrant background. These inequalities have severe consequences for individuals, economic progress and social cohesion, yet the success of Member States in tackling this problem varies greatly.

Skills: back to basics

New evidence from the OECD's Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) provides a clearer picture of the skill levels of Europe's working-age population. One in five adults in the EU does not exceed a basic level of literacy and for numeracy this is almost one in four.

The results also underline the need for increased lifelong learning. Adult participation in lifelong learning stands at less than 10% and is most prevalent among the young and highly educated, rather than those who need it most.

In addition to basic skills, only half of the EU population aged 15 and above agree that their school education helped them to develop entrepreneurial competences. Efforts to develop entrepreneurial skills are needed to support new business creation, employee innovation, and to advance employability among young people. Entrepreneurship education is an indispensable tool to drive up the economic benefits of education.

Read the full report

Text source: European Commission
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