IATE Term of the Week: European Year of Skills 2023


The year 2023 has been designated by the European Commission as the European Year of Skills (EYS). As the name suggests, this year’s initiatives will focus on helping people obtaining the necessary skills for quality jobs, as well as addressing skills shortages in companies within the borders of the European Union. By providing those new opportunities, the EU hopes to reach the EU 2030 social targets that aim to have at least 60% of adults in training every year, and at least 78% in employment. 

In IATE, this term is defined as ‘plan set out by Ursula von der Leyen for 2023 in her State of the Union address to further promote a mindset of reskilling and upskilling thereby boosting competitiveness of European companies, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises, realising the full potential of the digital and green transitions in a socially fair, inclusive and just manner’.


Among the numerous goals set by this project, one addresses the problem of shortage in skilled workers that is especially visible in the age range 55-64. Although employees are encouraged to lead longer working lives to ensure sustainable and sufficient future pensions, only around 30% of them participated in education and (formal and informal) training in 2016.

Therefore, the main objective of the ‘European Year of Skills 2023’ is to upskill a qualified workforce to not only ensure a competitive economy and sustainable growth, but also to show that lifelong learning is essential in today’s rapidly changing world. By introducing various initiatives like the “Pact for Skills” or the “Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition”, the EU aspires to make learning accessible, inclusive and attractive. Consequently, overall inequalities will be reduced which, in turn, will positively contribute to the economic growth of the member states and promote democratic values among them.


AGE Platform Europe (2023, March 14). 2023 is the European Year of Skills. Retrieved May 04, 2023. DOI: https://www.age-platform.eu/policy-work/news/2023-european-year-skills

AGE Platform Europe (2021, December). AGE Barometer 2021. On life-long learning, education, volunteering, intergenerational exchange, consultation and participation of older persons in Europe. Retrieved May 04, 2023. DOI: https://www.age-platform.eu/sites/default/files/AGE_Barometer-2021-FINAL.pdf

European Commission (n.d.). European Year of Skills 2023. Retrieved May 04, 2023. DOI: https://commission.europa.eu/strategy-and-policy/priorities-2019-2024/europe-fit-digital-age/european-year-skills-2023_en

Eurostat (2020). Participation rate in education and training by age. Retrieved May 04, 2023. DOI: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/databrowser/view/TRNG_AES_101/bookmark/table?lang=en&bookmarkId=e7eff453-4f1d-4360-b25b-4f4b79c78828

Written by Kasandra Rogala

KRpicBorn in Poland, nowadays based in Germany. Kasandra holds a degree in Applied Linguistics with Polish, English and French from the University of Warsaw. They are also currently studying their Master’s Degree in Learning and Communication in Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts at the University of Luxembourg. They can speak fluently Polish, English, French and they are improving their competences in Japanese and German. Academically, they are interested in researching how taboos are curated and disseminated by multilingual people, along with examining ethics of translation. Privately, they are exploring their artistic side by practicing digital illustration, traditional painting, and tattooing.