This year’s annual speech by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, also focused on skills. The Chair proposed that 2023 be the “European Year of Skills”. This will mean many new opportunities to improve Europeans’ digital skills and additional investment in education and upskilling.
On 14 September 2022, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, delivered the third State of the Union address to Members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
Once again, President von der Leyen underlined the skills gap in Europe, which must finally be overcome by a major effort to be implemented immediately. “We need much more emphasis in our investments in vocational education and upskilling”, said von der Leyen, “but we also need to attract the right skills to our continent, skills that help companies and strengthen Europe’s growth”.
The President of the Commission also stressed the importance of investing more in further education and higher education and that there is a need for “careful knowledge of the staff needed and how we can fill these vacancies”. The new call under the DIGITAL Europe Programme, which will finance new Bachelor’s and Masters degrees in key technology areas, addresses precisely this need.
Lack of staff is a challenge for European companies. We need to invest much more in training and continuing education. This is why I intend to make 2023 the European Year of Skills.
2023: European Year of Skills
With a clear statement, President von der Leyen announced that next year it would be the EU Skills Year. Many opportunities and initiatives will emerge with a much stronger focus and investment on digital education, upskilling and skills for every citizen, continuing the effort to achieve the goals set out in the Digital Decade: 80 % of Europeans with basic digital skills and 20 million ICT Specialists by 2030.