Social inclusion in education and skills development is taking centre stage in 2023, with the European Year of Skills running the agenda for the next months.

With the European Year of Skills, in cooperation with the European Parliament, Member States, social partners, public and private employment services, chambers of commerce and industry, education and training providers, and workers and companies all together, the Commission proposes to give a fresh impetus to lifelong learning by:

  • Promoting increased, and more effective and inclusive investment in training and upskilling of the European workforce, and to support people in changing from one job to another.

  • Making sure that skills are relevant for labour market needs, by also cooperating with social partners and companies.

  • Matching people’s aspirations and skill sets with opportunities on the job market, especially for the green and digital transition and the economic recovery.

  • Attracting people from third countries with the skills needed by the EU, including by strengthening learning opportunities and mobility and facilitating the recognition of qualifications.

A recent survey within the European Union and ten of its neighbouring countries, undertaken by Eurofound and the ETF, reveals not only the number of challenges faced by societies to address social inclusion, especially for women, youth and vulnerable communities, but also the urgency needed to deal with them.

As equality and diversity are a top priority for the EU, the Commission has adopted a proactive approach, with targeted action plans and measures. As part of ongoing efforts to make good on its commitment to foster more inclusive and fair societies in Europe, the Commission is organising for the second time the European Capitals of Inclusion and Diversity Award. This new initiative complements the annual EU Diversity Month, which raises awareness about the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and across our societies.

We are looking forward to know more about the initiative, as well as to contribute to the development of more inclusive society, where there is a ‘sunny place’ for everyone!