The council adopted conclusions on investing in education and training in response to the Commission Communication on 'Rethinking education'.
It also held a policy debate on 'Education and Skills for Jobs, Stability and Growth' in the context of the European Semester.
Europe needs a radical rethink on how education and training systems can deliver the skills needed by the labour market. The challenge could not be tougher in the context of widespread austerity measures and cuts in education budgets.
Today, the European Commission is launching a new strategy called Rethinking Education to encourage Member States to take immediate action to ensure that young people develop the skills and competences needed by the labour market and to achieve their targets for growth and jobs.
EU Education Ministers have set a common goal to reduce the percentage of 15 year olds with low reading skills from the current level of 20% to 15% by 2020. To achieve the above goal, the European Commission established an independent High Level Group which included 11 special experts, chaired by Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, in order to analyse the available data and evaluate the most effective policies, in order to identify ways to achieve the common goal of improving literacy levels.
During its Presidency, Cyprus will work towards a Better Europe, more relevant to its citizens and to the world; meaning a more effective Europe, contributing to growth and job creation. A European Union working on the basis of the underlying principle of solidarity, committing itself to a better future, promoting social cohesion and providing hope to its citizens; a European Union, with an enhanced role in the international scene. All efforts will be directed to bequeath a better Europe to the younger generations.
The council adopted conclusions on the employability of graduates from education and training.
The newly adopted benchmark will measure the share of graduates entering employment within three years of graduating and will look at the match between educational attainment and the occupations pursued during the first years of employment.
DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission invites all interested parties to respond to the questions set out in the Staff Working Document 'Quality Framework for Traineeships'. This Staff Working Document is accompanying the Communication from the European Commission 'Towards a job-rich recovery (COM(2012) 173 final).
Acknowledging that the provision of high quality traineeships requires the involvement of all relevant actors, enterprises in the first place, but also national authorities, social partners and representatives of youth and trainees, this position paper is submitted for consultation to all stakeholders. The aim is to build the necessary consensus for a common recognition of a quality framework on traineeships taking the form of a Council Recommendation to be adopted before the end of 2012.
The period of consultation is from 19/04/12 to 11/07/2012.
The questionnaire is available online (http://ec.europa.eu/yourvoice/ipm/forms/dispatch?form=Traineeships&lang=en).
The report consists of both a comparative overview and national descriptions. The short comparative overview, covering EU Member States, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Turkey, shows that the great majority of European countries address entrepreneurship education through national strategies or initiatives. At primary education level, two thirds of European countries explicitly acknowledge entrepreneurship in central steering documents while in secondary education virtually all countries integrate entrepreneurship into the curriculum, either as part of the general objectives of the overall curriculum, or within subject curricula or through a combination of these approaches. Thus the importance of entrepreneurship education is widely recognised. Moreover, many European countries define specific learning outcomes for entrepreneurship education covering entrepreneurial attitudes, knowledge and skills. Finally, the report also presents those countries where concrete guidelines and teaching materials give support to teachers, as well as a picture of current initiatives and ongoing reforms.
The study is only available in English on the Eurydice website. There will be no printed copies of this report.