Commission takes steps to boost lifelong learning and employability

Commission takes steps to boost lifelong learning and employability
13 December 2021

The Commission has taken an important step in helping Member States meet the EU-level target of having 60% of all adults taking part in training every year by 2030, by presenting proposals for Council Recommendations on individual learning accounts and on micro-credentials, as announced in the Skills Agenda and in the European Education Area Communication of 2020.

The Commission proposal aims to ensure that everyone has access to relevant training opportunities that are tailored to their needs, throughout life and independently of whether currently employed or not. To that end, the proposed Council Recommendation is addressing the main bottlenecks for people to embark on training today - motivation, time and funding - by asking Member States together with social partners to:

  • set up individual learning accounts and provide training entitlements for all adults of working age;
  • define a list of labour-market relevant and quality-assured training that is eligible for funding from the individual learning accounts and make it accessible through a digital registry, for example from a mobile device;
  • offer opportunities of career guidance and validation of previously acquired skills, as well as paid training leave.

Micro-credentials certify the learning outcomes following a small learning experience (e.g. a short course or training). They offer a flexible, targeted way to help people develop the knowledge, skills and competencies they need for their personal and professional development. The Commission proposal seeks to make micro-credentials work across institutions, businesses, sectors and borders. To that end, Member States should agree on:

  • a common definition of micro-credentials;
  • standard elements for their description; and
  • key principles for their design and issuance.

The aim is to ensure that micro-credentials are of high quality and issued in a transparent way to build trust in what they certify. This should support the use of micro-credentials by learners, workers and job seekers who can benefit from them. The proposal also introduces recommendations on micro-credentials in education and training and in labour markets policies. This should enable people to learn new or additional skills in a tailored way, inclusive for all. The European approach to micro-credentials is a key flagship to achieve a European Education Area by 2025. They can be part of the learning offer included in individual learning accounts.

 Image © European Commission


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