Individual learning accounts: Public consultation launched by the European Commission
The European Commission has launched a public consultation on Individual learning accounts, open until 16 July 2021.
The twin digital and green transitions and the disruptions induced by COVID-19 bring about significant structural changes in labour markets and will fundamentally change the skills requirements of many jobs. This increases the importance of building skills throughout life to bridge skills gaps, support labour market transitions and foster social inclusion.
At the same time, an increasing share of individuals (e.g. workers in atypical forms of work such as part-time, temporary and platform workers and the self-employed) are at risk of not receiving sufficient support for training from an employer.
In this context, the European Commission has launched the public consultation to collect feedback on the role of individual learning accounts. The key question is whether individual learning accounts can help ensure that adults keep building the skills they need, regardless of their employment status. Feedback is invited on the problem definition, need for EU action and policy objectives, policy options and expected impacts.
Individual learning accounts are defined as personal accounts in which training entitlements can be accumulated and spent on quality-assured training, guidance or validation services. They are one way of providing individuals with training entitlements.
Related schemes that provide individuals with training entitlements without involving personal accounts also exist. This includes training voucher schemes (often for specific target groups and run by Public Employment Services), and individual learning or personal development budgets, which are sometimes also provided by companies for their employees or negotiated by social partners in the context of collective bargaining agreements.
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