The Informal EU Education Ministers Council that will take place in Cyprus 4- 5 October will focus on the central role of education in implementing the Europe 2020 strategy for jobs and growth.
Cypriot Professor Christopher Pissarides, the 2010 Nobel Prize winner for Economic Sciences, will address the Ministers on the link between education and economic performance – an issue highlighted in the OECD`s recent `Education At A Glance` report.
The report showed that a European graduate can expect a net gain of around 140. 000 euro over his working life and that public long-term benefits from higher education through increased tax payments and other savings are almost three times the size of the public costs.
Current estimates show that the number of jobs requiring higher-level qualifications is set to rise to 35% of all jobs by 2020, but only 26% of the total workforce is currently educated to tertiary level.
The Ministers will also discuss the recommendations of the Commission`s High Level Group on Literacy, which showed that one in five 15 year olds, as well as nearly 75 million adults, lack basic reading and writing skills, which makes it hard for them to get a job and increases their risk of poverty and social exclusion.
The discussion will feed into Council conclusions on literacy, which are expected to be adopted by the Education Council in November.
In a statement, Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth said she was pleased that the Cyprus Presidency has put education and growth at the centre of its agenda.
She also sent a message to the EU Finance Ministers and Prime Ministers, saying “think of our young people first when it comes to deciding your priorities in the future EU budget."
Get all the latest news and videos in your inbox. Register FREE