Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans has proposed in parliament that the new EU skills strategy should take account of the vast potential to develop green technologies and acknowledge their importance in creating high skilled jobs in the future.
She also called for action to ensure that migrants to Europe are able to achieve their full potential through a more comprehensive approach to up-skilling, including through social entrepreneurship, civic education and informal learning.
The European Parliament was discussing the European Commission 'New Skills Agenda for Europe' which aims to ensure that people are equipped with the right skills to succeed in a fast developing jobs market.
An Employer Skills Survey carried out by the Welsh Government in 2015 found an increase in recruitment difficulties due to skills shortages amongst applicants. There were around 9,000 vacancies due to skills shortages, up from 5,000 in 2013. 40% of European employers report difficulties in finding people with the right skills they need to grow their businesses.
Speaking in the European Parliament, Jill Evans MEP said:
"There are some excellent points in this report, such as the key role of non-formal and informal learning, quality frameworks for apprenticeships and internships and the inclusion of social partners and civil society.
"Upgrading education and training is a crucial issue in my constituency, Wales, as it is across the EU.
"Given the recognition that the labour market is dynamic and future skills needs have to be considered, we believe the report could be strengthened by a clear reference to the huge innovation and employment potential of renewable energy sources and green technologies and the relevant skills required.
"There is also a need for reference to “up-skilling” in relation to migrants, consistent with the Action Plan on the Integration of third-country nationals.
"I ask colleagues to support the these amendments."