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Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe



Chapter 1 on Key Policies in the EU

by Cäcilia Märki
Language: EN

EU’s Upskilling Pathways and Workplace Basic Skills


The first OER unit of EBSN's Capacity Building Series on EPALE covered the significance of Upskilling Pathways in basic skills provision from a policy perspective. (for a more elaborate discussion of the Upskilling Pathways recommendation follow the link).

The European Commission have adopted the Riga Declaration: “eSkills for Jobs” which puts forward a “commitment to life-long education and training” and highlights the importance of basic digital competences.


European Policy Cooperation (ET2020 framework)


The ET 2020 framework (EU Policy Cooperation) provides opportunities to build best practices in education policy, gather and disseminate knowledge, and advance educational policy reforms at the national and regional levels.

The framework is based on the lifelong learning approach. It therefore addresses outcomes from early childhood to adult vocational and higher education, and is designed to cover learning in all contexts: formal, non-formal and informal.


The Education and Training Working Group on Adult Learning 2016-2018 was to identify policies that promote and support workplace learning of adults, covering:

• adults struggling with reading, writing, making simple calculations and using digital tools;
• adults with medium skills in need of upskilling.

Read the ET 2020 Working Group 2016-2018 report: Promoting adult learning in the workplace, which presents the main outcomes of its work. It identifies key messages for policy development along with case studies to inspire new thinking.


For another platform comprehending policies on developing skills by the EU visit the following site here.


Skills for Industry


“Disruptive technological change is changing the face of industry on a global scale. To continue to prosper, European enterprises have to be competitive, and the skills of our workforce are key here”.

The importance of policies addressing the provision of workplace basic skills are also increasingly recognised in industrial policies too. As the citation above suggests skills of the employees play a significant role in making sure to benefit from innovation in the world of ever-increasing rate of technological change.

By following the link to the European Commission’s website for Industrial policy users can find further information on policies that are primarily technological, but concern employee skills at workplaces too: Skills for Industry.

In connection with the Skills for Industry the European Commission have adopted the Riga Declaration: “eSkills for Jobs” which puts forward a “commitment to life-long education and training” and highlights the importance of basic digital competences.


Rethinking Education: Investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes


The Communication of the European Commission from 2012 was one of the documents putting an emphasis on transversal and basic skills. It states that although “achieving” foundation or basic skills by all is the first step to be made, but it is not sufficient in itself.

“Increasing transversal and basic skills alone will not be sufficient to generate growth and competitiveness, and there is still too much distance between the educational environment and the workplace”.





Recommendations for further relevant resources are welcome in the comment section below!



The Capacity Building Series of EBSN provides free open educational resources (OERs) and massive online courses (MOOCs) through EPALE, to help the implementation of the European Commission recommendations on Upskilling pathways in EU Member States. EPALE is funded by the Erasmus+ programme, as part the European Commission’s ongoing commitment to improving the quality of adult learning provision in Europe. The project is implemented with the support of the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).



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