On 15 April 2021, EFEE participated in the Dedicated Consultation Hearing on Individual Learning Accounts (“A European Initiative on individual learning accounts to empower all individuals to participate in training”), and Micro-credentials (“A European Approach to micro-credentials for lifelong learning and employability”), organized by the European Commission. The Consultation Hearing brought together social partners from various sectors to discuss the future of upskilling and reskilling, and how the introduction of micro-credentials and individual learning accounts at the EU level can contribute to the ambitious goals the Commission has set out.

The Consultation Hearing was opened by Joost Korte, Director General at DG EMPL, who stressed the dire need for upskilling and reskilling throughout the EU and detailed the policy background for these two initiatives. Subsequently, Ms Manuela Geleng, Director for Skills at DG EMPL, and Ms Vanessa Debiais-Sainton, Head of Unit for Higher Education at DG EAC, jointly provided participants with an overview of the Commission’s rational behind both initiatives and invited participants to share their views on them. As a top priority, participants identified the quality standards and characteristics of micro-credentials as well as a clear funding mechanism. Moreover, the stacking of micro-credentials and the certification of the training providers were underlined as a crucial issue that needs to be clarified in the initiative. Lastly, it was noted that Member States need to maintain the flexibility to organize micro-credentials as they see fit, specifically taking into consideration the vastly different C-VET landscape that exists across the EU.

Following the discussion on micro-credentials, the participants provided the Commission with their input regarding the individual learning accounts (ILAs). It was highlighted that the different professional learning schemes and vouchers already in place in many Member States need to be taken into account when aiming to implement a European-wide system. Specifically with regards to the cost-effectiveness of these schemes, participants raised the concern that the Commission should ensure that these new ILAs would bring an added value to relevant training offers. Furthermore, the social partners stressed that their involvement in the setting up of these ILAs would be crucial in order to strengthen the link between the labour market and the skills providers. Lastly, the motivation of employees to upskill and reskill were discussed. In this regard, the participants asked the Commission to take into account that financial incentives alone would not reach the most vulnerable groups.

EFEE’s contribution to the micro-credentials can be found here.
EFEE’s contribution to the individual learning accounts can be found here.

The public consultation for the micro-credentials is now available here and open until 13 July 2021.
The public consultation for the individual learning accounts is now available here and open until 16 July 2021.

For more details, please contact isaline.ossieur@educationemployers.eu