Skills levels across the European Union are dangerously low and could
jeopardise the ambitions of bodies such as the European Parliament and
This is the warning from Johan van Rens, director of the European Centre for
the Development of Vocational Training.
"Imagine a situation in which the equivalent of the population of
France was declared low-skilled," he said. "And, imagine a situation
in which some the countries currently seeking entry to the EU were found to
have better average levels of education than the Member States. This is not
imagination – this is fact in the EU today."
Cedefop estimates that 34 per cent of 25 to 59 year olds across Europe are
categorised as low skilled and are receiving less training than other sectors
of the population. "The EU needs to be an active force in ensuring
education and training keep pace with needs," he said.
Cedefop is making its contribution by establishing the Refer network, a
support infrastructure which has been created to provide a constant flow of
information from EU Member States. Each country has a co-ordinator – the UK’s
is the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.