OECD: EU to Focus on Education to Boost Growth and Jobs

Written by | Friday, September 12th, 2014
@Eubulletin

The European Commission has welcomed the annual report of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) called “Education at a Glance 2014” published earlier this week (9 September). The study reports on the successes and challenges of the national education systems of OECD’s member states, highlighting the growing significance of investment in education to enable them to catch up with changes and developments in the labour market. Education is increasingly seen as an important driver of job creation, economic growth but also inclusiveness of European societies. The report thoroughly studies 34 OECD member countries out of which 21 are EU Member States. Latvia is the only exception – despite not being an OECD member –but it is also included in the report as an OECD partner country.

EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Androulla Vassiliou, commented that the study was a major source of knowledge and evidence for policy-makers contributing to understanding of the challenges we face. She pointed out though that the report also demonstrated the still existing discrepancies between EU Member States in the level of skills among fresh graduates but also older groups. “We need to ensure that young people in particular are equipped with the skills they will need in their working life and that we provide continuing learning opportunities for adults,” she added.

The main findings concerning the EU show that education opportunities continue to expand significantly throughout Europe as high levels of education and skills pay off not only for individuals but also entire societies. The report, however, also stresses that similar levels of education do not always mean the same level of skills and right skills matter especially during the transition from school to labour market. Moreover, the study concludes that the attractiveness of teaching profession is decreasing and therefore the teacher population is aging.

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