3 May 2022

Mixed views in the MET sector on Micro-credentials and ILAs

Skills shortages and skills mismatch constitute one of the major obstacles to the competitiveness of the MET industries and to the creation of quality jobs. Our companies are indeed reporting increasing difficulties in finding and retaining the adequate talent that the industry needs.

This is the reason why Ceemet is closely following and actively involved in the initiatives on “skills policies” that the Commission has released and will continue to publish as a follow-up to the publication of the 2016 New Skills Agenda.

Today, Ceemet is publishing their position on two of the key Commission proposals:

  • a Proposal for a Council Recommendation on a European Approach on Micro-credentials; and
  • a Proposal for a Council Recommendation on Individual Learning Accounts (ILAs).

Broad support for the proposal on micro-credentials

While Ceemet remains sceptical of the proposed recommendation on ILAs, we welcome the Commission recommendation to Member States to adopt a European Approach to Micro‑credentials.

Indeed, we are convinced that developing a “European Approach to micro-credentials” can be an added value tool to support the workforce to be trained on labour market needs and very importantly to foster a culture of life-long learning.

We therefore agree that learning outcomes leading to micro-credentials can take place in all kinds of settings: formal, non-formal and informal. Admittedly, as employers representing the largest industrial sector in Europe, we are aware that much of the learning occurs on-the-job on a daily basis.

Likewise, we also welcome the Commission recommendation to actively engage universities and the VET system in the provision of training that leads to micro-credentials.

Cautious approach as regards the Individual Learning Accounts

Concerning ILAs, even though Ceemet agrees with the Commission’s analysis of the barriers to undertake training, amongst which the lack of motivation, we consider that these accounts will not be the solution to increase the motivation of workers to participate in training. We also fear that ILAs will not be the adequate tool to address the skills gap, as it will not ensure, in our opinion, the labour market relevance of training.

In Ceemet´s opinion, ILAs should only represent one possible approach to foster training, and, in this regard, it should be fully up to Member States to decide if ILAs could be an effective (additional) instrument in their respective educational infrastructures.

For more information, see Ceemet position papers on ILAs and Micro-credentials.