Cesare Onestini, Director of the European Training Foundation (ETF), speaking at “The Power of Skills in EU External Relations,” which was held in Brussels to mark the ETF’s 25th anniversary, has called for “an urgent focus on lifelong learning in response to the global forces of change which are transforming the world we live and work in.”
The European Training Foundation
The European Training Foundation (ETF) is the European Union Agency that supports countries in the EU neighbourhood to undertake reforms in education and training and employment policies.
It was created following the fall of the Berlin wall its aim was to help the newly liberated countries of Central and Eastern Europe adapt to open markets and democracy.
It is currently works with 22 partner countries in the Southern and Eastern Mediterrranean, the Eastern Partnership and Central Asia.
New skills required for the future
Now we are facing the challenges of globalisation, digitisation, migration and the green transition and the need to invest in human capital development is vital to provide people with the skills required to face the future.
Development key to success
Countries and companies are the same, to succeed they both need to make sure that they have the skills, and knowledge required to meet the needs of a changing world.
Onestini explained that over the last 25 years, the ETF has supported over 40 countries in modernising their education, training and labour market systems.
Thirteen of those countries are now members of the European Union.
Another seven are at different stages on the path towards EU accession.
This testifies he said to the power of skills to create opportunities for people, underpin inclusive economic and social development and lay the foundations for stability and prosperity in the EU’s partner countries.
At the start of a new legislature and with new leadership in Brussels, it’s an important time to consider the role of education, training and skills in the next generation of EU external relations policies and programmes.