YouthProAktiv participated in ALL DIGITAL’s high-level event “Individual Learning Accounts in the 2020s”

A high-level event for policy-makers, government, educators and industry.

On the 18th of February 2020, YouthProAktiv had the opportunity to participate in a high-level conference organized by ALL DIGITAL, a Brussels-based network of 70 organizations representing and supporting more than 25.000 competences and ICT learning centers, in order to discuss about models and opportunities deriving from the implementation of Individual Learning Accounts (ILAs) in the 2020s across Europe. The event brought together MEPs, Commissioners and stakeholders, amongst which we would like to mention Nicolas Schmit (Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion, EC), Stefano Scarpetta (Director for Employment, Labour & Social Affairs, OECD) and Eva Maydell (MEP, EPP, Member of Committee on Industry, Research & Energy). 

In the digital era we are living in, labour markets are facing major changes. For instance, a great amount of new jobs is being created in the high-digital sector and, among the traditional ones, the majority of them is becoming more and more automated. In this new environment, digital skills are of necessary importance. Nevertheless, workers are not keeping up with these major changes, lacking essential digital competences and reporting a mismatch between their skillset and the qualifications required for a job. This situation not only leads to a loss of growth potential for our economy, but it also has a detrimental impact on each individual worker, who is at risk of losing its job. What is needed in this fast-changing environment is a re-skilling revolution. ILAs, policy measures supporting adult education and training, offer a great tool and could have a huge impact on the digital skills gaps EU countries are facing, supporting competitiveness and economic development. 

In recent years, ILAs have received renewed attention from policy makers, due to their ability and potential to make training rights “portable” from one job to another. However, in order to be effective, the implementation of this policy measures must cover the following points: 1. engage employers to upscale their training provisions; 2. step up public and private investments in training; and 3. empower people to invest in their own skills and qualifications. Although ILAs could have a great potential in the current digital era, their implementation must take stock of both advantages and disadvantages that could derive from it, as well as the key trade-offs and questions to consider in designing a successful ILA’s scheme, such as targeting, funding and participation of under-represented groups. Only the evaluation of already implemented ILA’s schemes will tell us whether they should be considered as a panacea or a pandora box.