EU Launches New Initiatives to Offer Youngsters Better Education, Training & Employment Opportunities

studying

The European Commission has adopted two new initiatives – the European Education Area and the Digital Education Action Plan – in a bid to strengthen the role of education and training to the EU’s recovery from the pandemic, and assist in building a green and digital Europe.

According to the Commission, both initiatives will enable the EU youngsters to have more opportunities in education and training and thus better access in employment, Erudera reports.

Regarding the new initiatives, the Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, Margrethe Vestager, said that the mass use of technology which has exposed the weaknesses of online learning is an opportunity to reset education and training according to the needs and opportunities that the digital age offers.

This is a momentum to shape and modernise education for the digital age,” she said.

Whereas the Vice-President for Promoting the European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, who commented on the European Education Area, said that education is a mainstay of the European way of living.

Our vision for the European Education Area is deeply rooted in the values of freedom, diversity, human rights and social justice. Together with the Digital Education Action Plan, we propose new initiatives to learn and work together across the continent. For our youth, for our citizens, for our prosperity,” he said.

The European Education area is rooted back in 2017 when the heads of the Member States discussed education and training at the Gothenburg Social Summit.

Whereas the Digital Education Action Plan builds on the first Digital Education Action Plan approved in January 2018, and effective until the end of 2020.

European Education Area

The Communication on the European Education Area published on September 30, reveals the goals which the Commission intends to reach by 2025, and the actions through which these goals can be reached, among which:

  • a strengthened Erasmus+ programme
  • an ambitious framework for European policy cooperation in education and training
  • support for Member State reforms through the European Semester
  • better targeted use of European funds

The Commission aims that in the near future to make it a norm for young Europeans to spend time abroad to study, as well as to learn two languages aside from their mother tongue.

School and higher education qualifications should be recognised across the EU,” the Commission notes.

All youngsters must be able to access high-quality education, irrespective of their socio-economic background. They should also have a strong sense of their identity as a European, of Europe’s cultural heritage and its diversity.

Digital Education Action Plan

On the other hand, the second initiative called the Digital Education Action Plan, which is set to be implemented from 2021 to 2027 unfolds the Commission’s vision for high quality, inclusive and accessible digital education in Europe.

It is an attempt of the EU to establish closer and stronger cooperation between the member states, in order to learn from the Coronavirus pandemic crisis during which education and training have been depending on technology as never before:

It has two strategic priorities:

  • Fostering the development of a high-performing digital education ecosystem
  • Enhancing digital skills and competences for the digital transformation

The EU plans to actively help in the realisation of the Digital Education Action Plan by undertaking a more active role in identifying, sharing and scaling up a good practice, as well as supporting the Member States and the education and training sector with tools, frameworks, guidance, technical expertise and research.

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