Eurobarometer: Education and training don’t match available jobs


The ICT sector will need many more skilled workers in the future, especially women. [Shutterstock]

A quarter (23%) of EU citizens believe that their education or training did not give them the skills to find a job that matches their qualifications, according to a new Eurobarometer survey.

The survey also shows that 6% who tried to work or study in another member state were unable to do so as their qualifications were either not recognised by their prospective employer or educational institution, or the respondents lacked information about recognition of their qualifications abroad.

Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said that the Commission’s objective was to enable everyone to have their qualifications recognised across national borders, by employers and educational institutions.

“They need to be recognised in a fair, comparable and transparent way, so that people’s skills and qualifications improve their employability or open the way for further learning,” Vassiliou said.

The results of the Eurobarometer survey echo a separate Commission online consultation for education and training specialists. The online consultation found that there is strong support for action to simplify European tools for recognising skills and qualifications. Respondents said skills and qualifications should be made more coherent and easy to use, in order to ensure a stronger focus on the needs of pupils, students, workers and employers.

The EU’s executive stated that implementation of current initiatives on jobs and qualifications has been been slow in member states.

“There are still too many obstacles to educational and working mobility; and the current initiatives are not well adapted to developments in digital learning and ‘internationalisation’ (student mobility between EU and non-EU countries, joint degrees awarded by universities in different countries,” the Commission said.

The Eurobarometer survey was carried out in all 28 member states between 26 April and 11 May. 28,000 people from different social and demographic groups were interviewed face-to-face.

The skills mismatch in Europe is found in sectors such as ICT where the number of digital jobs is growing – by 3% each year during the crisis – but the number of new ICT graduates, and other skilled ICT workers, is shrinking.

As a result, Europe faces both hundreds of thousands of unfilled ICT jobs in the future as well as declining competitiveness.

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