Launch of the new skills agenda for Europa, Brussels, 20 June 2016

June 20, 2016 to June 21, 2016
The new skills agenda for Europe was launched on 20 June 2016, at the Charlemagne Building in Brussels. Key note presentations by European Commissioner Marianne Thyssen en by Farid Tabarki, director of Studio Zeitgeist, followed by a panel opened by Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport.

Keynote speech by Commissioner Marianne Thyssen
It is the first time a European Commissioner is responsible for skills. Ms Thyssen takes up the engagement to take this responsibility. But it is a transversal concern, and commitment of stakeholders is needed to make the agenda work.
Employability is not a dirty word. Education and training must prepare young people for the labour market. Some challenges are common to all Member States: for example related to skills needed for health workers. We need to act together on these common challenges.
This agenda is different and will have real impact.
It will raise basic skills all over Europe. The Skills Guarantee will enhance basic skills. In practice: Member STates are encouraged to put in place frameworks to assess skills, offer tailored learning.
It will foster stronger cooperation between education and training, businesses and social partners.
It will help to make better use of existing skills across Europe; we cannot avoid to waste available talents. Need for skills recognition.
Key note by Farid Tabarki, founding director of Studio Zeitgeist and columnist in ‘Het Financieele Dagblad’. Author of ‘The end of the middle. What a society of extremes means to people, businesses and government’. Member of Platform Onderwijs 2032 in the Netherlands.
Mr Tabarki draws the picture of the changing society, where everybody is connected. The pyramid model of society (centralization) is being replaced by a transparent world; we are melting to a different kind of society, from a very structured system towards ‘the liquid society’. (The liquid modernity, by Zygmunt Bauman), with two inmportant rules: change is the only permanence and uncertainty is the only certainty. What are the implications for skills? Finding ones talents will be the main goal of education. Knowing yourself is important. Civic and social skills will become extremely important. In a liquid society, you need more ‘feminin’ skils than masculin skills (were needed in the well structured society). Need for more entrepreneurial skills, need to take risk!
Interactive panel, opened by Tibo Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport.
Panel with Mr Bartolo, minister for Education and Employment in Malta; Mr Michel Servoz, DG for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission; Ms Jazlowiecka, Vice-Chair of Employment and Social Affairs Committee, European Parliament; Ms Martine Recherts, DG EAC, European Commission; Mr Andreas Schleicher, Director Education and Skills OECD, Ms Lowri Evan, DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SME’s, European Commission.
One of the conclusions: We don’t need changes in bits and pieces: education has to be reinvented completely. We have failed, we have to find new ways of living together; it starts at young age, it starts with education.