European Year of Skills

In 2022, we celebrated the ‘European Year of Youth’, which proved to be very fruitful in terms of creating new and exciting opportunities for young people across Europe. A bottom-up approach that included the cooperation of young people, youth organisations and other youth initiatives that make the voice of youth heard, media that reported about ‘#EYY2022’, and the prioritisation of young people throughout the year, helped to make it a success.

While there were many new opportunities and initiatives available to young people in 2022, this momentum must continue going forward. The StayOn project is a great example of how this can be accomplished, as it aims to foster youth empowerment using the same bottom-up approach that directly involves young people, allowing them to have their say and take control of their futures. The European Year of Youth strengthened the aim and values of the StayOn project while solidifying the need for more youth projects like StayOn across Europe.

Promoting opportunities available to young people; helping them to become active and engaged citizens; bringing a youth perspective to the Union’s policies, and highlighting how the green and digital transitions offer opportunities for young people, were the main objectives of the European Year of Youth. The latter of these is of great significance this year as there are new skills demands on Europe from green and digital transitions. The European Commission responded to these demands by declaring that 2023 would be the ‘European Year of Skills’.

The labour shortages and lack of basic digital skills across Europe highlight the need for sufficient investment in reskilling and upskilling to ensure a workforce with adequate digital and green skills to enhance Europe’s competitiveness. With these industries moving quicker than ever before, there is an evident need for a translatable skills taxonomy that will ensure the development of the required skills, while leaving nobody behind, to boost Europe’s recovery. The European Year of Skills aims to contribute to achieving the Digital Decade targets, which are that 80% of Europeans will have basic digital skills, and there will be 20 million information and communications technology (ICT) specialists, by 2030.

This is an incredible opportunity not only for education and industry, but also for youth projects like StayOn, as the European Commission will emphasise the importance of, and encourage a much stronger focus on, opportunities and initiatives related to upskilling and digital skills for all. Events and awareness-raising campaigns will be organised across the EU to highlight funding programmes and EU initiatives and to promote upskilling and reskilling opportunities. The StayOn project can play a central part in this by providing young people with adequate digital and green skills for European rural labour markets, and can become a best practice example for the 2023 European Year of Skills.

Meath Partnership team
StayOn project


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