New opportunities for adults.

Close to one-fifth of adult Europeans struggle with: Basic reading and writing, Calculation, and using digital tools in everyday life.

About the same amount of adult Europeans (around 22%) only obtained a lower secondary education level at most. Without these skills and with a low level of qualification they are at higher risk of unemployment, poverty, and social exclusion. For that reason, the European Council adopted the Recommendation on Upskilling pathways in 2016.

It aims to help adults acquire a minimum level of literacy, numeracy, and digital skills and/or acquire a broader set of skills by progressing towards an upper secondary qualification or equivalent (level 3 or 4 in the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) depending on national circumstances). Based on the information provided by the Member States, the Commission published in February 2019 report taking stock of their implementation plans and progress. The Council renewed its commitment to support adults struggling with basic skills in the Council Conclusions adopted on 5 June 2019.

Who is it for?

Upskilling pathways targets adults with a low level of skills, e.g. those without upper secondary education and who are not eligible for Youth Guarantee support. They may be in employment, unemployed, or economically inactive, with a need to strengthen basic skills. Member States may define priority target groups for this initiative depending on national circumstances.

Support to individuals

To boost access to and take up quality learning opportunities, adults with low levels of skills should have access to Upskilling pathways in three key steps.

Step 1 – Skills assessment
This is to enable adults to identify their existing skills and any needs for upskilling. It may take the form of a “skills audit”: a statement of the individual’s skills that can be the basis for planning a tailored offer of learning.

Step 2 – Learning offer
The beneficiary will receive an offer of education and training meeting the needs identified by the skills assessment. The offer should aim to boost literacy, numeracy, or digital skills or allow progress towards higher qualifications aligned to labor market needs.

Step 3 – Validation and recognition
The beneficiary will have the opportunity to have the skills she or he has acquired validated and recognized.

Official Source


EU-ANSA Report