Skills Intelligence Publication

The Education and Training Monitor’s comparative report comprises a broad, cross-EU analysis of education and training systems. The report tracks progress towards achieving the EU-level targets  agreed as part of the strategic framework for European cooperation in the field. In particular, seven EU level targets have been set and this report complements them with numerous supporting indicators to shed light on context and possible policy levers.

Based on the latest available data, the report presents the main trends in education at European level and, among others results, it informs that:

A better responsiveness is needed for future decreases in early school leaving

  • At 9.7% in 2021, the share of early leavers from education and training continues to fall and remains on track to achieving the 2030 target of less than 9%. Approximately 3.1 million young people are now disengaged from education and training while having attained lower secondary qualifications at most, with only 42.3% of them being employed.

A diverse and evolving landscape characterises vocational education and training

  • Nearly half (48.7%) of all pupils enrolled in upper secondary education are in vocational education and training (VET). The 2022 Education and Training Monitor captures progress towards three key objectives for the VET sector, covering work-based learning, mobility and graduate employability.

An expansion of higher education masks persisting disparities

  • In 2021, 41.2% of 25-34 year-olds had a tertiary-level qualification, keeping the EU on track towards meeting its 2030 target of at least 45%. However, decades of educational expansion have coincided with an ever-widening gender gap, reaching 11.1 percentage points in favour of women.

An era of transitions demands lifelong skills development

  • In 2021, 10.8% of adults aged 25 to 64 participated in formal or non-formal learning activities over the preceding 4 weeks, showing a recovery from pandemic-induced drops the previous year.

A focus on digital and sustainability competences concerns learners of all ages

  • The promotion of digital and sustainability competences can benefit from them being mainstreamed in compulsory education as cross-curricular subjects. It will also benefit from the boosting of teachers’ confidence and skills.