From education to employment

UK lifelong learning above EU average, but overall progress ‘still too slow’

UK public investment in education as a percentage of GDP has grown significantly since 2000, and adult participation rates in lifelong learning are almost twice the EU average, according to figures released today.

However, the European Commission’s reports on the progress of education reforms also revealed the growth in the number of maths, science and technology graduates in the UK was below average.

Although the findings point to general improvement in education and training performance in the EU, the Commission warns progress is still too slow. It is now likely the majority of reform targets set for next year will not be reached.

Maroš Šef?ovi?, European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, believes the economic downturn highlights the urgency of reform and continuous targeted investment in education and training systems.

“Education reforms in the EU have come a long way but we must not lose momentum now. In particular, we need more and better investment in education and training so that Europeans are better prepared to find jobs, and to increase our ability to innovate in the long term,” says Mr Šef?ovi?.

The findings will be presented to the Education Council tomorrow, in preparation for its formal adoption by the Education Council in February 2010. Key messages will help fuel a debate on the future EU strategy for growth and jobs at the Spring European Council 2010.

(Pictured: European Commissioner Maroš Šef?ovi?)

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