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Katarína Neveďalová: “Education systems in the EU do not meet the requirements of the labour market”


Education systems vary from one member state to another, but what is the main challenge?

Education systems in EU do not meet the requirements of the labour market. We have an unusually high number of university students and graduates, but also an unusually high number of unemployed, whose education does not correspond to what the labour market needs.

When young people decide what studies to pursue, they should also consider what they can really do with them.

We know what is and will be needed for our labour market for up to 20 years ahead. But we have to get ready for it too. We´re talking about an ageing population, yet nobody addresses the need for care for the elderly, the need for nurses and doctors. We know that in two years´ time the EU will need about one million ICT specialists, but at the moment these people are not being trained.

Why do you emphasise the need for partnerships in your report?

Teachers must know what they are preparing their students for, what kind of labour market, what sort of employers. A dual system, when a school works together with a firm so that students can do a traineeship there, is so far the best available one. Some companies even train teachers to be able to pass new skills on to students.

Why do you pay so much attention to life-long learning in your report?

According to Commission estimates, people will have to change jobs up to ten times during their working life. They will have to adapt to new requirements, technologies, and that is what lifelong learning is all about.

Education is the responsibility of member states, so what can the EU do in this area?

EU can and does make recommendations. We also have a new mobility programme called Erasmus+ for 2014-2020. This is not only for students, but also for teachers.

Of interest