Outcome 7. Common Learning Platform

The document "Common Learning Platform:Preparing a common work plan to improve the transparency and recognition of qualifications and competences" takes into account

  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
  • European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS)
  • The European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET)

in order to avoid wasting people's talents and ensure skilled workers, without any discrimination due to age, nationality or partial disability, are adequately integrated into the labour market, it is necessary to validate and recognise their skills.

Since 2002, there has been progress on issues set out in the Lisbon Agenda in 2000 concerning vision of a Europe with highly-skilled people. Still, a flexible and adaptable workforce with a high degree of social inclusion, is far from reality. While technological change and innovation has raised demand for higher-skilled people across all occupations, demographic change in Europe raises concern. It is estimated that this year there will be fewer 15 to 24 year olds than those aged 55 to 64 in Europe. The number of young people aged 15 to 24 is set to drop by a quarter, from 12.6 to 9.7%, between 2005 and 2050, while the age-group 65 + will grow from 16.4 to 29.9%. Labour markets will thus have to rely increasingly on older workers, migrants and women returning to work. More people from a wider range of groups will also need to participate in education and training. This also means matching skills demand and supply more accurately. Today's pupils and students will still be in the beginning of their career in 2020 with at least 30 years to go in their professional live, and some of them in occupations that do not exist today and others perhaps in occupations that are disappearing.

The number of low-skilled people in Europe is high; around 30% of the working age population in Europe has a qualification below upper secondary level. Too many young people, around 15%, leave school without any qualifications. Some 76 million 25-64 year olds, nearly a third of the working population - roughly equivalent to the combined total populations - of Italy, Hungary and Austria - have either low qualifications or no qualifications at all. Too many 18-24 year olds continue to leave education and training unqualified. Low-skilled people have fewer opportunities to participate in further learning which means that up-skilling and targeted measures are needed. Learners from migrant backgrounds are also more likely than their native peers to leave education and training without the necessary skills for successful transition into the labour market. Shrinking younger age cohorts requires developing the skills and competences of older workers to improve their employability and counteract their discrimination on the labour market, which many experience as early as from 40 to 45.

Still, validation opportunities are limited and underused in the majority of Member States.
According to the 2010 update of the European Inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning, Cyprus Greece and Hungary offer hardly any possibilities for validating non-formal and informal learning. Bulgaria, Latvia, Malta and Poland recently took steps towards the setting up of systems for the validation of non-formal and informal learning, but the validation system itself in these countries is still in its initial stage. In Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Italy, Ireland, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia validation systems exist in one or more sectors, and are only used by small numbers of individuals. Also in countries with a more developed validation system such as Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom the take up rate of validation is still rather limited. The limited and underused validation opportunities make that skills remain invisible and are not used to their full potential for the benefit of individuals, the economy and the society at large.

 Here you can dowload te complete "Common Learning Platform Report"