In the field of education and training, the Presidency focuses on the implementation of the New Skills Agenda, the modernization of Higher Education, and the initiative of graduates’ tracking.
This year's edition of the Commission's Education and Training Monitor shows progress towards important EU targets, but also highlights that Member States need to make their education systems more relevant and inclusive, in particular regarding the integration of newly arrived refugees and migrants. Member States face a dual task of ensuring adequate financial investment and offering high quality education to young people from all backgrounds – including refugees and migrants.
High-quality education benefits all and remains a government priority, but despite notable progress, some groups still lag behind. One in six 25-34 year-olds across the OECD lacks an upper secondary education. In the EU, young adults who have dropped out of upper secondary school face unemployment rates of 21.2%, compared with 8% for their tertiary‑educated peers. In a highly demanding and fast‑paced world, a lack of higher level skills comes at a big cost for families and society. Gender imbalances also persist. In many countries, immigrants tend to lag behind their native born peers in educational attainment at all stages.
The report shows the potential for education to propel progress towards all global goals outlines in the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG’s). It also shows that education needs a major transformation to fulfil that potential.
In the field of Education and Training, the Maltese Presidency will focu on the relevance of achieving a High Quality Education for All through inclusion in diversity. The quality and relevance of Education and Training should be linked to the requirements of the labour market and directed towards the provision of relevant skills, aptitudes and lifelong values required to become active citizens.
The Maltese Presidency will also strive to make progress on the New Skills Agenda for Europe, the proposal for a Council Recommendation on the European Qualifications Framework, and the proposal for a Decision on Europass.
The Programme of the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union is based on four priorities: an economically strong Europe, a modern single market, a sustainable migration and asylum policies and a globally engaged Europe.
The priority themes which will be at the forefront of the Slovak Presidency are driven by three interconnected principles: Achieving tangible results; overcoming fragmentation; focusing on the citizen.
In the field of education, the main focus is on fostering and developing talent, translating into increased competitiveness, enhanced social inclusion and the personal development of every individual.
On 10 June 2016, the European Commission has adopted a new and comprehensive Skills Agenda for Europe.
The aim of the Skills Agenda is to improve the teaching and recognition of skills – from basic to higher skills, as well as transversal and civic skills – and to boost employability. It also aims to ensure that no-one is left behind and that Europe nurtures the high-end skills that drive competitiveness and innovation. The Skills Agenda contributes to the European Commissions’ first political priority ‘A new boost for jobs, growth and investment’. Ten actions are proposed, grouped around three strands.